Karen Press

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Karen Press (born 1956) is a South African poet.

Antjie Krog has described her poetry as "presenting a haunting museum constructed in [...] delicate tone and vivid poetic intelligence."


  • Words are such thin shavings of the fractal fruit,

tiny scraping of the skin that holds

these joyously determined swirls of history

inside their juicy turbulence.

Talking itself westward after the day's feast,

each little word with its meaning strapped to its back

falls down the swell of tomorrow

like a hiker with hopeful new shoes."

from Purposefully peeling footsteps (Home, 2000)


  • Emergency Declarations (found poems, co-produced with Ingrid de Kok, 1985)
  • This Winter Coming (Cinnamon Crocodile, 1986)
  • Bird Heart Stoning the Sea (Buchu Books, 1990)
  • History is the dispossession of the heart (Cinnamon Crocodile, 1992)
  • The Coffee Shop Poems (Snailpress, 1993)
  • Echo Location - a guide to Sea Point for residents and visitors (Gecko Books, 1998)
  • Home (Carcanet, 2000)
  • The Little Museum of Working Life (Deep South, 2004)

This quote has been given from Karen Press at the occasion of the Cape Town Book Fair to WikiAfrica Literature project, a project conceived by lettera27. It is published on a postcard.

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