Grahamstown, 13th November 2013: Well-known South African poet and publisher, Gary Cummiskey, is to become the editor of poetry magazine New Coin from 2014, taking over from this year’s guest editor, Vonani Bila. A widely published writer, Cummiskey is based in Johannesburg where he runs Dye Hard Press and a number of other poetry projects.
Cummiskey’s poetry and short stories have been featured extensively in literary journals both locally and overseas for the past 20 years. He founded Dye Hard Press in 1994 specifically to give a platform to new voices, and has since published over thirty titles from local poets. He sees his New Coin editorship as a fresh opportunity to promote the kind of challenging, original work that keeps South African poetry alive and awake:
“A poetry that is restricted and does not offer the reader anything new adds to the view of poetry as something stuffy and dead that has no resonance with contemporary readers and makes publishers even less likely to take a chance on it. A journal such as New Coin, which has always focused on writing that is willing to break out of the mould and take risks, is an essential vehicle to continue to promote and offer poetry as a form worthy of attention and admiration.”
New Coin was founded in 1965 by Guy Butler and Ruth Harnett and is published twice a year by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) at Rhodes University. Cummiskey will work with an editorial board made up of the four poets who teach on the Rhodes MA in Creative Writing course: Mxolisi Nyezwa, Brian Walter, Joan Metelerkamp and Robert Berold – the last two of whom have edited New Coin in the past.
Berold comments: “Gary Cummiskey has a good grasp of the range of voices and sub-cultures that make up South African poetry in English. His approach to publishing is the only way to keep poetry vital. His appointment is good news for South African poetry.”
Subscribe now to get both the June and December 2013 issues of New Coin for R170. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 046 603 8565.