Colleen Higgs is the publisher and founder of Modjaji Books, a small independent feminist press based in Cape Town. Inspired by Modjadji, the Rain Queen of Limpopo, Modjaji Books aims to fill a gap by taking seriously women’s writing from southern Africa. As a powerful female force for good, growth, new life, and regeneration, the press works at creating a space for those experiences and voices that may not fit in to the constraints of more mainstream publishers. Many Modjaji titles have gone on to be nominated for and some to win prestigious literary awards.
A writer herself, Colleen Higgs’s poems and stories have been published in literary magazines, women’s magazines and in academic journals, and she has had stories published in collections such as Dinaane; Just Keep Breathing Home, Away; and Stray. Colleen’s own books include the poetry collections Halfborn Woman, Lava Lamp Poems, and a collection of short stories, Looking for Trouble.
Colleen is a publishing activist and has long been a supporter of small, independent publishing; through her previous work at the Centre for the Book, she managed the award-winning Community Publishing Project, and she has written numerous articles, pamphlets on writer development. She also compiled two Small Publishers’ Catalogues of African publishers (2010 and 2013) and wrote A rough guide to Small Scale and Self-Publishing (2005) which was translated into 4 South African langauges and sold thousands of copies.