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Karin Schimke


Country: South Africa



Biography:

Karin Schimke is a journalist, columnist, author and poet. She is widely published in mainstream South African newspapers, magazines and websites, and in literary magazines. She has published a non-fiction book, is the author of a manuscript of motherhood and identity, several shorts stories and children's books, and is currently working on her first poetry manuscript. She is the MC of Off The Wall, a long-running weekly poetry event, and has hosted poetry events at The Franschhoek Literary Festival and the Cape Times Book Fair.

About my poetry
I am interested in capturing the finest slivers of emotion that hardly register on our consciousness and that are often uncomfortable. Often it is the ìunspeakablesî ñ the thoughts or feelings about which we think we should be ashamed - that form the basis of our common humanness, and if there is any single thing I hope my poetry achieves - outside of simply giving voice to thunder inside - is that someone somewhere will say 'Yes! I have felt like that!'

Language does not communicate in only words though, but in silences, or the percussion of sound, the rhythms created by the stringing together of certain words in certain orders, so I work hard to craft my feeling into something that is both easy enough to listen to, and textured enough to enjoy reading on the page.

I write in English and Afrikaans, but am deeply influenced by the clicks, sighs, chafes, gongs, lullabies and impenetrables of other languages. I 'collect' words from all the languages I hear or see printed ñ rolling them around, pounding them, moulding them. You seldom see them in my poems, but they are all there in the in-betweens ñ every word I ever encountered and loved or hated.

Related Podcasts & Events:

Ninth Floor

she ran across the parquet slipped the flokati mat
crashed the window

no

she stood at the window prism looked up at sky bruise night
spread her

no

she tilted dived swanning spinning
tip-toed ink air broke fingers first

no

she climbed the small gap the window gave
hung her finger joints clotted the view with frightened breath
fell ligament torn and sorry

no

she wandered to the glass hatch to watch tranquilised lights sputtering
leaned too hard fell faster than a bottle of Jack

no

this is how it was:

drunk screaming she crashed the parquet with grief
roared the ungiving window frames which gave

she spangled spaghetti-like ribbon-voiced
street lights crashed on her

no.

She did nothing.

 

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