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Brian Walter PDF Print E-mail
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Authors / Scriptwriters / Poets - Poets













Picture was taken by Mike Barwood

Brian Walter is an accomplished Eastern Cape poet from Port Elizabeth. He spent a number of years in the Alice region, working at the University of Fort Hare, but has returned to Port Elizabeth where he works on his own writing, and with the Helenvale Poets group. 

His writing is often centred on the Eastern Cape landscapes and peoples, against which he looks at both society and self.

Walter has five books of published poetry, Tracks and Baakens (Lovedale Press), Mousebirds (Seaberg), Otherwise and Other Poems (Echoing Green Press) and Poems Packed for Travel (Poetree Publications) and has co-authored Groundwork (MacMillan), an introduction to reading and writing about poetry, with Felicity Wood.  He has also compiled textbooks.

He is the winner of the following awards for poetry: 1999 — Thomas Pringle Award for poetry published in journals;  2000 — The Ingrid Jonker Prize for Tracks, published 1999; 2000 — Premier’s Arts and Culture Awards, Eastern Cape, for literature; 2005 —  Award for Outstanding Literature, National Department of Arts and Culture.

He has collaborated with both artists (Hillary Graham, Elaine Matthews) and other poets, working regularly with an informal group Ecca, which was originally formed with colleagues from Fort Hare, and included Cathal Lagan, the late Norman Morrissey, and the late Basil Somhlahlo.  Laura Kirsten, Silke Heiss, Alvené Appollis-du Plessis and Ed Burle are the other current members. See their poems on

Basil Somhlahlo, Cathal Lagan and Walter produced, in 1994 while still working at Fort Hare, a book of poems on the sinking of the troopship, the SS Mendi. It was stimulated by the artist Hillary Graham’s triptych The Loss of the Mendi.  This book was reprinted in 2017, 100 years after the sinking of the Mendi.

Brian Walter has taught creative writing at Fort Hare, the Nelson Mandela University and at Rhodes University. He edited the first four editions of Tyume, the Fort Hare Journal of Creative Writing. He has also facilitated the poetry groups and book production for the Arts and Culture directorate, at the Nelson Mandela University, which has resulted in three collections of poetry.

Walter facilitates the Helenvale Poets, a project of the Southern Africa Development, Research and Training (SADRAT) Institute. By 2017 they had compiled 5 poetry books. See the SADRAT Institute website for details.

Poems Packed for Travel is available as an e-book on Amazon. Copies of the poetry books can be purchased by e-mail arrangement:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Contact Details:

Province: Eastern Cape

City: Port Elizabeth

Category: Poet

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

Cell: 083 273 9479

Mousbirds - by Brian WalterTracks - by Brian Walter      


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