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Stephen Gray (poet) - South Africa - Poetry International
 
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Stephen Gray
(South Africa, 1941)   
 
 
 
Stephen Gray

Stephen Gray is a giant of the South African literary landscape. One of the country’s most prolific authors, he has established a reputation as a leading academic and critic, with a substantial publication record in a wide range of genres including novels, poetry, biography, essays and a play. In his editorial capacity he has overseen a prodigious output of South African anthologies.

Born in Cape Town in 1941, he matriculated from St. Andrew’s College in Grahamstown and went on to read for a BA degree from the University of Cape Town, followed by an MA from Cambridge University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. He was also awarded a D. Litt and D. Phil. by the Rand Afrikaans University.

Stephen Gray has been a writer-in-residence at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has held fellowships at the Rockefeller Bellagio Centre in Italy, at the Hawthornden Foundation near Edinburgh, at the Eastern Frontier Educational Foundation in Maine, and at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre of the University of Texas at Austin, where his own papers are part of their South African literature holdings.

In 1993 he received the English Academy’s Gold Medal and in 2007 he was honoured by the Department of Arts and Culture with a South African Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, in particular for “his dedication to African and world poetry and literary arts”.

From 1997 to 2006 he was one of the editors of the fourteen-volume Anniversary Edition of the works of Herman Charles Bosman, published by Human & Rousseau, and he published biographies of Bosman and of Beatrice Hastings.

For all his erudition and intellectual brilliance, the poetry we offer in this issue is simple, warm and witty. It is a joy to bring you this gifted poet.

© Liesl Jobson

Bibliography

Novels
Local Colour, Ravan Press, Johannesburg, 1975
Visible People, David Philip, Cape Town & Collings, London, 1977
Caltrop's Desire, David Philip, Cape Town, & Collings, London, 1980
John Ross: The True Story, Penguin, Johannesburg, 1987
Time of Our Darkness, Muller, Johannesburg & London, 1988
Born of Man, Justified Press, Johannesburg & London, GMP, 1989
War Child, Justified Press, Johannesburg, 1991; Serif, London, 1993
Drakenstein, Justified Press, Johannesburg, 1994

Plays
Schreiner: A One-Woman Play, Philip, Cape Town, 1983

Poetry
It’s About Time, Philip, Cape Town, 1974
The Assassination of Shaka, with woodcuts by Cecil Skotnes, McGraw-Hill, Johannesburg, 1974
Hottentot Venus and Other Poems, Philip, Cape Town & Collings, London, 1979
Season of Violence, Dangaroo Press, Aarhus, 1992
Selected Poems, 1960-92, David Philip, Cape Town, 1994
Gabriel's Exhibition: New Poems, MayibuyeBooks-UWC, Bellville, 1998
Shelley Cinema and Other Poems, Protea Book House, Pretoria, 2006

Edited Anthologies
Writers’ Territory, Longman Southern Africa, Cape Town, 1973
Mhudi, by Solomon T. Plaatje, Heinemann, London, 1978
Theatre One: New South African Drama, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1978
Modern South African Stories, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1980
Stormwrack, by C. Louis Leipoldt, Philip, Cape Town, 1980
Turbott Wolfe, by William Plomer, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1980
Theatre Two: New South African Drama, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1981
Athol Fugard, McGraw-Hill, Johannesburg, 1982
Modern South African Poetry, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1984
Modern Stage Directions: A Collection of Short Dramatic Scripts, Maskew Miller Longman, Cape Town, 1984, (edited with David Schalkwyk)
Three Plays, by Stephen Black, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1984
The Penguin Book of Southern African Stories, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1985
Selected Poems, by William Plomer, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1985
Bosman's Johannesburg, Human and Rousseau, Cape Town, 1986
Herman Charles Bosman, McGraw-Hill, Johannesburg, 1986
Market Plays, AD Donker, Johannesburg, 1986
The Penguin Book of Southern African Verse, Penguin, London, 1989
My Children! My Africa! and Selected Shorter Plays, by Athol Fugard, Wits University Press, Johannesburg, 1990
The Natal Papers of "John Ross", by Charles Rawden Maclean, University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, 1992
South Africa Plays, Hern, London, 1993
Invitation to a Voyage: French Language Poetry of the Indian Ocean African Islands, Protea Book House, Pretoria, 2008

Essays and Miscellaneous
Willemsdorp, by Herman Charles Bosman, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 1998
Southern African Literature: An Introduction, David Philip, Cape Town, & Collings, London & Barnes and Noble, New York, 1979
Douglas Blackburn, Twayne, Boston, 1984
Human Interest and Other Pieces, Justified Press, Johannesburg, 1993
Accident of Birth, COSAW, Johannesburg, 1993
Life Sentence: A Biography of Herman Charles Bosman, Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 2005
Indaba: Interviews with African Writers, Protea Book House, Pretoria, 2005
My Serial Killer and Other Stories, Jacana, Johannesburg, 2005
Remembering Bosman, Penguin, Johannesburg, 2008


Links

Inventory of Stephen Gray’s papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Blog piece on Penguin South Africa website

Interview between Veronique Tadjo and Stephen Gray

Stephen Gray accuses Zakes Mda of plagiarism

Article by Stephen Gray on Litnet

 



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