Kobus Moolman
Position Senior Lecturer
Discipline English Studies
Phone 033 260 5315
Email moolman@ukzn.ac.za
Campus Pietermaritzburg Campus
Office Address Old Main Building G 03

Degrees Held

  • PhD

Research Interests

  • Kobus Moolman is a senior lecturer in creative writing in the Department of English. He is a multiple award-winning poet, playwright and short story writer.
  • Creative writing is his primary research field. His focus is on contemporary local and international poetry, drama and short fiction. He is also very interested in cross genre studies, and in particular the avant-garde, whether in prose or poetry.


  • In 2014 he was nominated for the South African Literary award for poetry, and the international Glenna Luschei Poetry Prize, both awards for his collection Left Over (Dye Hard Press, 2013).
  • In 2013 he received the Sol Plaatje European Union poetry award. In the same year, he was the Mellon Writer in Residence at Rhodes University for three months.
  • In 2012 he was commissioned by the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State to adapt Zakes Mda’s the novel, The Madonna of Excelsior, for the stage. The production has travelled to several theatres in the country, including the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the State Theatre in Pretoria.
  • In 2011 he won the Inglis House Poetry Contest, Philadelphia.
  • In 2010 he received the South African Literary Award for Poetry for his collection, Separating the Seas. Founded by the national Ministry of Arts & Culture, the South African Literary Awards honour important South African literary practitioners.
  • In the same year he was a special guest, for two months, of the Creative Writing Research Group of the University of Calgary in Canada.
  • He was also the invited dramaturge on a two-week residency for South African and Dutch scriptwriters organized by the Twist Theatre Development Project during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. He was invited back as dramaturge in 2011 and 2013.
  • In 2009 one of poems was nominated for a US Pushcart Prize.
  • At the beginning of 2008, he participated in a residency at the Caversham Centre for Writers and Artists in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. During this residency he produced a limited edition, hand-bound collection of poems entitled Anatomy. This cycle of poems was later published in the Journal of Disability Studies (Ohio State University).
  • It also won the Dramatic and Literary Rights (DALRO) Prize for the best poem to appear in New Coin magazine in 2008.
  • In 2007 he was named joint winner of the 2007 Performing Arts Network of Southern Africa (PANSA) Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings of New Writing for his new play, Stone Angel. This is the second time he has won this major South African theatre award.
  • In the same year he was chairperson of the selection committee for the Olive Schreiner Poetry Prize sponsored by the English Academy of Southern Africa. In 2008, he was on the panel of adjudicators for the Ingrid Jonker award, and in 2009 he was a judge for the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry.
  • He was the founding editor of the annual KwaZulu-Natal poetry journal, Fidelities, which ran from 1995 until 2007. As co-ordinator of the Fidelities Poetry Project he conducted creative writing workshops and readings for a variety of interest groups, from offenders in prison to high school youth. From 2000 to 2009 he edited the poetry titles for the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, working on collections by prominent South African poets.
  • In 2004 his play, Full Circle, was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Script in the PANSA Festival of Reading of New Writing. The play premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2005. It was subsequently produced at the Hilton College Theatre in Pietermaritzburg and at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The play was also produced as part of the Southern African theatre season at the Oval House Theatre in London in 2006.
  • In 2008 it was produced by the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
  • In 2003 he was a runner-up in the BBC African Performance radio drama competition. His winning play was produced for the BBC World Service. In the same year it was also read at the Moscow Theatre Festival of New Writing.
  • In 1998 he was awarded the Helen Martins Fellowship which enabled him to spend a month in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda working on an anthology of poetry. This collection, entitled, Time like Stone was published by UKZN Press in 2000. The collection was awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize for 2001, the premier South African award for a debut anthology.
  • In 1992 he was a finalist in the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award.
  • He is the recipient of the BBC African Radio Theatre Award (1987), the Macmillan Southern African Playwriting Award (1991) and in 2000 he won a merit award in the Noupoort Reward for Playwriting.

Teaching Interests

Creative Writing –

  • Specialization in Poetry.
  • Secondary focus on Short Fiction, the Novel and Scriptwriting.
  • Contemporary South African poetry.
  • Contemporary American poetry.
  • The literary avant-garde and hybrid genres
  • Canonical poetry in English (including analysis & close reading)
  • South African Theatre.
  • Prison Writing.
  • Disability Studies



  • 2000. Time like Stone. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
  • 2001. 5 Poetry. Johannesburg: Botsotso Publishers.
  • 2003. Feet of the Sky. Howick: Brevitas Press.
  • 2007. Separating the Seas. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
  • 2007. Blind Voices: a collection of radio plays. Johannesburg: Botsotso Publishers.
  • 2007. Full Circle. Johannesburg: Dye Hard Press.
  • 2008. Anatomy. (Limited edition, illustrated chapbook.) Lidgetton: Caversham Press.
  • 2010. Light and After. Grahamstown: Deep South.
  • 2010. (editor) Tilling the Hard Soil: Poetry and Prose by South African Writers Living with Disabilities. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
  • 2013. Left Over. Johannesburg: Dye Hard Press.
  • 2014. A Book of Rooms. Grahamstown: Deep South.

Chapters in Books

  • Soundings: an anthology of poems selected from the 1988 Sanlam Literary Award, edited by Douglas Reid Skinner, Carrefour Press (1989);
  • Twenty-Five Years of English South African Poetry, edited by David Bunyan, Institute for the Study of English in Africa (1989);
  • Let Me Be, compiled by David Dawson, Macmillan (1990);
  • The Heart in Exile: South African Poetry in English, edited by Leon de Kock and Ian Tromp, Penguin (1996);
  • It All Begins: Poems from Post Liberation South Africa, edited by Robert Berold, University of Natal Press (2002);
  • From Jo’burg to Jozi: Stories about Africa’s Infamous City, edited by Heidi Holland and Adam Roberts, Penguin Books (2002);
  • glass jars among trees, edited by Arja Salafranca and Alan Finlay, Jacana Media (2003);
  • Lovely Beyond any Singing: Landscapes in South African Writing, compiled and introduced by Helen Moffett, Double Storey (2006).
  • Durban in a Word: Contrasts and Colours in eThekwini, edited by Dianne Stewart, Penguin Books (2008).
  • Botsotso: an Anthology of Contemporary South African Poetry, edited by Allan Kolski Horwitz and Ken Edwards, Reality Street (2009).
  • Speaking for the Generations: an Anthology of Contemporary African Short Stories, edited by Dike Okoro, Africa World Press (2010).
  • The Walking Project: an anthology of poems by people with disabilities, edited by Carol Marfisi, Temple University (2010)
  • The Sol Plaatje European Poetry Anthology, compiled by Liesl Jobson, Jacana (2011)
  • The Ground’s Ear: Contemporary Verse from Southern Africa, edited by Frederick de Jager, Quickfox Publishing (2011).
  • Africa Inside Out: Stories, Tales and Testimonies, edited by Michael Chapman, UKZN Press (2012).
  • Unbreaking the Rainbow: Voices of Protest from the New South Africa, edited by Amitabh Mitra, Poets’ Printery (2012).
  • The Sol Plaatje European Poetry Anthology, compiled by Liesl Jobson, Jacana (2013).
  • In the Heat of Shadows: South African poetry 1996-2013, edited by Denis Hirson. Grahamstown: Deep South (2014).

Journal Articles

  • 2014. “Beauty is a Verb: the new Poetry of Disability”. African Journal of Disability 3 (1): 116-118.
  • 2013. “Re-membering the body: an exploration of the centrality of embodiment in my own work and other South African poets”. Wordgathering. (Reading Loop) (December.)
  • 2011. “Burnt Offering and the Long Poem”. Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa 23 (1): 81-83.


  • 2014. Dromineer Literary Festival, Ireland: Delivered a poetry reading, conducted a writing workshop and participated in a panel discussion on “The Book That Most Influenced Me”.
  • 2014. Guest lecturer at University College Cork, MA in Creative Writing, Ireland.
  • 2014. Guest poet at Ó Bhéal reading, Cork City, Ireland.
  • 2014. Guest poet at Marketplace Poetry, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.
  • 2014. Midlands Literary Festival. Presentation on the writing of Left Over.
  • 2014. “Teaching the practice of writing poetry in a university environment”: paper presented at Rhodes colloquium on the teaching of creative writing.
  • 2014. With Alan Finlay and Robert Berold: Panel discussion on “The State of Literary Magazines in South Africa”. WordFest, Grahamstown.
  • 2013. Featured poet in Poetry Africa Festival, Durban.
  • 2013. Richmond Literary Festival October. Presentation on writing Left Over.
  • 2013. Guest Lecture, “The How of the What”, Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Grahamstown (15 July).
  • 2012. Featured poet in Melville Poetry Festival, Johannesburg.
  • 2011. Featured poet in Melville Poetry Festival, Johannesburg,
  • 2011. Featured poet in Fugard Festival, Nieu Bethesda.
  • 2011. With Leslie Swartz and Fiona Snyckers. Panel discussion, “Challenging Lives”, Franschhoek Literary Festival.
  • 2011. With Leon de Kock, Kei Miller and Finuala Dowling. Panel discussion, “Can you teach creative writing?”, Franschhoek Literary Festival.
  • 2010. Hilton College IEB Educator’s Conference. Paper on “Teaching Creative Writing in the Classroom”.
  • 2010. Featured poet at the Poetry Africa Festival, Durban.
  • 2010. Guest poet at Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, Banff Centre, Canada.
  • 2010. Panel discussion, “Spoken Word without Boundaries.” Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, Banff Centre, Canada. (7 April).
  • 2008. Hilton Arts Festival, Poetry reading with Ingrid Anderson.
  • 2004. Featured poet at the Poetry Africa Festival, Durban.

Student Supervision

  • I have supervised numerous creative writing Masters degrees (and most recently) the PhD. I am delighted to work with talented writers on developing their creative writing research projects in whatever field they choose.

Contact Webmaster | View the Promotion of Access to Information Act | View our Privacy Policy
© University of KwaZulu-Natal: All Rights Reserved