Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Arthur Nortje

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Nationality  South Africa
Role  Poet
Name  Arthur Nortje

Genre  Poetry
Alma mater  Jesus College, Oxford
Education  Jesus College, Oxford
Arthur Nortje httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumbf
Born  16 December 1942 Oudtshoorn (1942-12-16)
Died  December 11, 1970, Oxford, United Kingdom
Books  Dead Roots: Poems, Anatomy of dark

Arthur Kenneth Nortje (16 December 1942 – 11 December 1970) was a South African poet.



Nortje was born in Oudtshoorn and went to school in Port Elizabeth, where he was taught by the acclaimed writer Dennis Brutus. After school he studied at the University College of the Western Cape and later received a scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford in the UK, where he obtained a BA degree.

He emigrated to Canada in 1967, teaching in Hope, British Columbia and Toronto but returned to Oxford in 1970 to work on a doctorate. He died shortly afterwards of a drug overdose.

His poems were published posthumously in the collections Dead Roots (1973) and Lonely Against the Light (1973). They deal extensively with his own personal alienation, being classified as coloured in apartheid South Africa, and his experiences of exile. In 2000, the University of South Africa Press in Pretoria published Anatomy of Dark: Collected Poems of Arthur Nortje. His works have been dealt with extensively in Ralph Pordzik's Die moderne englischsprachige Lyrik in Südafrika 1950-1980: Eine Darstellung aus funktions- und wirkungsgeschichtlicher Perspektive and in an article entitled: "No Longer Need I Shout Freedom in the House: Arthur Nortje, the English Poetical Tradition and the Breakdown of Communication in South African English Poetry in the 1960s", published in English Studies in Africa 41.2 (1998) 35-53.


  • Dead roots: poems, Heinemann, 1973, ISBN 9780435901417
  • Dirk Klopper, ed. Anatomy of dark: collected poems of Arthur Nortje, University of South Africa, 2000
  • Craig W. McLuckie, Ross Tyner, eds. Arthur Nortje, Poet and South African: New Critical and Contextual Essays, Unisa Press, University of South Africa, 2004, ISBN 9781868882595
  • References

    Arthur Nortje Wikipedia

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