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Robert Berold

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About Robert Berold

Robert Berold, born in 1948 in Johannesburg, is the author of three books of poems: The Door to the River, The Fires of the Dead, and Rain Across a Paper Field. From 1989 to 1999 he edited the poetry journal New Coin, which became an arena for the groundbreaking new work published in the 1990s. His anthology of the best of this work was published in 2002 as It All Begins : poems from postliberation South Africa and was followed in 2003 by a volume of interviews, South African Poets on Poetry. Berold has edited books by many South African poets including Mxolisi Nyezwa, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Seitlhamo Motsapi, Lesego Rampolokeng, Joan Metelerkamp, Ari Sitas, Angifi Dladla, Khulile Nxumalo, Mzi Mahola, and Mzwandile Matiwana. He continues his editing work through the small poetry press Deep South.

Since 2003, Robert Berold has made his living as an editor of technical and environmental books, for the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation, and the SA Water Research Commission, among others. Prior to that, he worked for NGOs in South Africa, mainly with small farmers and craftspeople. In the early 1980s, while working for the rural development organisation EDA, he created and co-edited the widely read People’s Workbook, a manual of rural practical skills. Recently he collaborated with the visionary Lesotho agriculturalist JJ Machobane on Machobane’s autobiography, published in 2003 as Drive Out Hunger.

Robert Berold’s newest book is an account of a year in China, titled Meanwhile Don’t Push and Squeeze (Jacana, 2007).


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