Announcing In a Free State by P.R. Anderson, and the new edition of Foundling's Island


uHlanga is proud to announce the imminent release and launch of In a Free State: A Music, the third book by award-winning poet P.R. Anderson, as well as the new edition of his second collection, Foundling’s Island.

Already lauded by Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee as a book “destined to be a landmark in South African poetry”, In a Free State constitutes a unique and ambitious new approach for Anderson. With 74 poems split into 3 sections, choral spines and an assortment of voices, Anderson discombobulates and re-assembles the image and idiom of the various nations, landscapes and earthscapes of central South Africa. From first peoples, to those who took and settled on their ancestral lands, and to those for whom that land would come ancestral, In a Free State encompasses and compresses centuries of human drama into a fleeting and temperamental poetic narrative.


Yet this is no drudge, nor is it a historical yarn. With an easy mastery of form and metre, coupled with swashbuckling metaphorical and -textual flourish, Anderson’s new “music” is a bold and visionary work. A piece of South African poetry – and South African storytelling – unlike any other.

We’re also happy to be re-publishing Anderson’s award-winning second collection, Foundling’s Island, which was published by UCT’s Centre for Creative Writing and Electric Books Works in 2007, and which, as an unfinished manuscript, shared the 2003 Sanlam Literary Award. The collection announced his arrival as a fresh and significant voice in South African poetry.

In print again for the first time in a decade, Foundling’s Island’s journey of coasts, creatures and dreams is as tightly crafted and joyously readable as it has ever been – a collection in which form is created and meaning maintained with the lightest of touches, to the greatest effect.

peter canberra cut.jpg

P.R. Anderson, born in 1967, studied at the Universities of Oxford and Cape Town; he currently lectures at the latter in English Language and Literature. The recipient of the 2017 Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry and the 2003 Sanlam Literary Award, he is also the author of the collection Litany Bird (Carapace Poets, 2000).

In a Free State and Foundling’s Island will be launched on Wednesday 28 November 2018 at the Book Lounge in Cape Town. Further events in the city and in the country will be advertised in 2019.