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Berold feb 2013

Robert Berold in 2013. Courtesy .evous.

Robert Berold (born 1948) is a South African poet, editor, and prose author.


Berold was born in Johannesburg. He matriculated from Hilton College at the age of 16, and went on to study Chemical Engineering and English Literature at the University of Witwatersrand, and later at the University of Cambridge.

Berold worked as a teacher and activist for various NGOs throughout the 1970s and 1980s, which included a teaching position at the Morris Isaacson High School at the time of the Soweto uprising in 1976.[1] He is the author of four books of poetry – The Door to the River (Bateleur, 1984), The Fires of the Dead (Carrefour, 1989), Rain Across a Paper Field (Gecko Poetry, 1999) and All the Days (Deep South, 2008) – and his work has appeared in several South African anthologies.

One of South Africa's most influential poets, Berold worked from 1989 and 1999 as the editor of New Coin, a poetry journal that published much of the groundbreaking poetry written in South Africa in the 1990s. The journal's anthology was published in 2002 as It All Begins: Poems from post-liberation South Africa, and was followed in 2003 by a compilation of interviews with poets entitled South African Poets on Poetry.

Berold taught English at Zhejiang University, People's Republic of China, from 2005 to 2006. He further organized various campus-wide seminars on English poetry during this period. His memoir of his experiences, Meanwhile Don't Push and Squeeze, was published in 2007. (Jacana).

Berold currently makes his living as a writer and editor, and works as a lecturer in creative writing and literary journalism at Rhodes University. He runs the small poetry press Deep South, and lives with his wife on a farm near Grahamstown, South Africa


South African writer Denis Hirson wrote about Berold's work:

"His pared down naming of essential things around him, the physicality of the encounter between words and local environment, free of intellectual artifice, along with an increasing meditative simplicity, combine to give his voice its distinctive sound in South Africa today."



  • The Door to the River. Johannesburg: Bataleur Press, 1984.
  • Four South African Poets: Robert Berold, Jeremy Cronin, Douglas Reid Skinner, and Stephen Watson. Grahamstown, South Africa: National English Literary Museum, 1986.
  • The Fires of the Dead: Poems. Cape Town: Carrefour Press, 1989.
  • Familiar Strangers: Poetry. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 1992.
  • Rain Across a Paper Field. Durban, South Africa: Gecko Poetry, 1999.
  • All the Days. Grahamstown, South Africa: Deep South / Distributed by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008.


  • South African Poets on Poetry: Interviews from 'New Coin', 1992-2001. Scottsville, South Africa: Gecko Poetry, 2003.
  • Drive Out Hunger (with James Jacob Machobane). Johannesburg: Jacana, 2003.
  • Meanwhile Don't Push and Squeeze: A year of life in China. Auckland Park, South Africa: Jacana, 2007.


  • It All Begins: Poems from post-liberation South Africa. Scottsville, South Africa: Gecko Poetry, 1999.
  • Parking space: Poems from East Cape schools (edited with Alan Finlay). Grahamstown, South Africa: Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University, 1994.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. Robert Berold's Story: Morris Isaacson High School, Soweto Uprisings Blog, July 10, 2007. Web, Dec. 21, 2013.
  2. Robert Berold, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 21, 2013.

External linksEdit

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