Antjie Krog


Antjie Krog was born on 23 October 1952 on a farm in the Freestate. She completed her B.A. degree with Afrikaans (cum laude), Philosophy (cum laude) and English at the University of the Orange Freestate, a Masters degree in Afrikaans at the University of Pretoria and a Teachers diploma (cum laude) at the University of South Africa. Krog published nine volumes of poetry, two volumes of verse for children, a short novel published by Heinemann and a book , Country of my Skull, on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission published by Random House. Her first play has been performed in South Africa recently dealing with a black woman and a white woman trying to come to terms with their past and future.

Krog's awards include the Eugene Marais prize for the most promising young writer (1973); the Dutch/Flemish prize Reina Prinsen-Geerligs prize for most promising young writer (1976); the Rapport prize for best literary work in a particular year (1987); the Hertzog prize for the best poetry volume over three years(1990); the Pringle Award for excellence in journalism for reporting on the Truth Commission (1996); the Foreign Correspondent award for outstanding journalism (1996); the Allan Paton award for best South African non-fiction work (1999); the Booksellers Award for the book they liked to sell most (1999); the Honorary Mention for the Noma Award for books from Africa (1999); the Award from the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture for the year (2000); Olive Schreiner award for prose (2000); and the FNB Award for best poetry volume for the year (2000).

Krog delivered the keynote speech at the Zimbabwe Book Fair in 1998 and the Conference on Women and Violence organised by the World Bank in Washington 1998. She gave lectures on aspects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the University of London, the University of Glasgow, the Universities in Essen and Dortmund in Germany, the University of Utrecht and at NIZA (Netherlandsch Instituut voor Zuider Afrika) in Holland, as well as during a South African week in Antwerp, Belgium. She gave a series of lectures on the concept of Justice within the Truth Commission ambit at the Universities of Bishops, Concordia, McGill, Carleton and Toronto in Canada, as well as the New York University and Bard College in the UN. She appears as frequent guest on current affairs programmes of the BBC, of Hilversum in the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Nieu Zealand and America. She has been invited three times as poet to participate in Poetry International at Rotterdam, Nacht der Poezie in The Hague and the Berlin Literatur festival. Was resident at the Foundation Royaumont for Poesie and Traduction where several of her poems had been translated into French. Krog formed part of the South African writers invited to Aix-en-Provence for the Cite de Livre in 1997 and was part of the La Caravane de la Poesie in 1999 - seven poets from Africa who travelled the ancient slave route from Goree back to Tombouctou. She also lead the English session at a Conference on Writing as a duty of Memory held in Rwanda. She is a Director of the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation.

Krog's works have been translated into English, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, Swedish and Serbian. Her book Country of my Skull is being widely prescribed at Universities in America and Europe as part of the curriculum dealing with writing about the past. She was recently asked to translated the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom into Afrikaans.

She is married to architect John Samuel and has four children.

Her selected publications include Dogter van Jefta (1970); Januarie Suite (1972); Mannin (1974); Beminde Antarktika (1974); Otter in Bronslaai (1981); Jerusalemgangers (1985); Lady Anne (1989); and Gedigte 1989-1995 (1995).