ISBN 9780980272970
Pages 58
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2009
Publisher Modjaji Books, South Africa
Format Paperback


by Fiona Zerbst

Oleander explores life's complexities, both beautiful and poisonous-love, death, art, the aftermath of war and genocide, travel, religion, revelation. More wide-ranging than Zerbst's previous volumes, Oleander charts experiences through which the self may be transformed.

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"Ever since her first collection, Parting Shots (1991), I have been a devoted fan of Fiona Zerbst’s work. With Oleander, her fourth collection, Zerbst further establishes the sense that the poetic is her metier. Her poetry draws on its ancient lyric roots, unafraid to sing or lament, unashamed to be poetry. In my view, Zerbst refreshes a tradition of lyric poetry without gimmicks or recourse to exercises in form; rather, she achieves this by staying true to the spirit of a tradition, thus staying true to her metier. I remain enthralled."

Rustum Kozain, South African Poet

About the Author

Fiona Zerbst

Fiona Zerbst is the author of four poetry collections: Oleander (Modjaji Books, 2009); Time and Again (UCT Younger Poets Series No 1, Snailpress, 2002); the small zone (Snailpress, 1995); and Parting Shots (Carrefour Press, 1991). She received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, studying under the late Stephen Watson, and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Pretoria. Her poems have been published in various journals, both locally and abroad, as well as in several anthologies – most recently The New Century of South African Poetry (Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2019). She has run her own writing and editing business for a decade, and lives and works in Cape Town.

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