Poetry in my postbox: English Alive and Carapace

Two poetry magazines I admire greatly both arrived in my postbox today: English Alive and Carapace.

English Alive is an annual anthology of writing by South African school-goers, and this is the last issue edited by the legendary Robin Malan, who is retiring from the editorship after many years. Robin deserves several lifetime achievement awards for his contribution to South African literature, because for many writers, English Alive is the first place they are published and recognised for their early work.

Go and order your copies on the English Alive site. If you’re at school, you can also find out how to submit your work to English Alive.

Carapace is edited by another giant of South African literature, Gus Ferguson. I believe for consistently high-quality poetry Carapace is unrivalled in South Africa. My subscription to Carapace costs me R200 for six issues, which is ridiculously cheap. (To subscribe, write to PO Box 12020, Mill Street 8010, Cape Town South Africa.) This month’s issue includes writing by a range of top local writers, including Mike Alfred, David Attwell, Sue Clark, Patrick Cullinan, Gail Dendy, CJ Driver and others.

If you aim to one day be published in Carapace, read every issue you can get hold of. You’ll learn a lot from these amazing writers. And, a bonus, Carapace always includes lovely drawings, too.