“Literature enables you to examine your life”: An interview with Antjie Krog

Antjie Krog was born in the Free State in 1952. She completed a BA degree at the University of the Orange Free State, a Masters degree in Afrikaans at the University of Pretoria and a Teacher’s Diploma at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Krog’s first collection of poetry, Dogter van Jefta (1970), was followed by further collections, including two books of verse for children and the English collection Down to my last skin (2000), which won the inaugural 2000 FNB Vita Poetry Award. She became well known as one of the SABC radio journalists who reported on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in the mid-nineties. Prose publications include Country of my Skull (1998), about the TRC, and A Change of Tongue (2003).

Antjie has received a number of awards and prizes for poetry, journalism and translation. For her journalistic work she won the Pringle Award and the Foreign Correspondent Award. She has received the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and was honoured by the Hiroshima Peace Foundation. Her works have been translated into English, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Body Bereft (2006), Antjie Krog’s second collection of poetry in English, has been translated from the Afrikaans collection Verweerskrif; both were recently published by Umuzi, Random House’s South African imprint.

Krog is married to architect John Samuel. They have four children and live in Cape Town, where she is a Professor Extraordinary at the University of the Western Cape.

Read the interview here.

Read some of Antjie Krog’s poems on the Poetry International Web.

Read Antjie’s In Defence of Poetry (2004).

Read three poems at Jack Magazine.

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