Gail Dendy

Gail Dendy has published seven collections of poetry, her most recent being Closer Than That (Dye Hard 2011). Her first collection, published by Harold Pinter, was Assault and the Moth (Greville Press UK, 1993. This was followed by People Crossing (Snailpress 1995), Swimming in the Long Dark Sound (Stride, UK 1998), Painting the Bamboo Tree (Arc, UK 1999) The Poetry of Norman Corwin and Gail Dendy (Shirim, USA 2002) and The Lady Missionary (Kwela/Snailpress 2007). Her poetry appears in journals and anthologies both in South Africa and overseas, most recently an anthology of Greville Press poems (Carcanet, UK 2010), including works by Harold Pinter, and the The Sol Plaatje / European Union Poetry Anthology 2011 (Jacana 2011).

Throughout the 1980s and early ’90s Gail pioneered contemporary dance in South Africa and was nominated for the inaugural AA Vita Award for Best Performer. She was a finalist in the South African Science Fiction Society’s Short Story competition, 1992; finalist, Dalro Award 2007; commendation, Dalro Award 2008 and 2009; winner, playwriting category, SA PEN Millennium Competition, 2000; joint winner of the cash prize for the Herman Charles Bosman Literary Award, 2008; longlisted for the Plough Poetry Prize (UK); shortlisted for the Thomas Pringle Award 2010 and the Sol Plaatje / European Union Poetry Award 2011.

Gail is married and lives, dances, works and writes in Johannesburg. Over the years she has worked, inter alia, as a university lecturer, copywriter and radio news writer. She is currently the information specialist for a multinational corporate law firm.

Owner and cat

Gail Dendy 2012-09-19 Gail Dendy explores the ritual of choosing a pet and preparing for his life-long stay.

Cardiac arrest

Gail Dendy 2012-09-11 Gail Dendy describes a cardiac event.

No haikus

Gail Dendy 2012-09-06 Gail Dendy pleads you to abstain ... from writing haikus!


Gail Dendy 2012-05-03  "The lie of the land is plain,
distilled by perfect sight and scent."


Gail Dendy 2012-04-25 "I grew up with bombs exploding
around me ... "

About to happen

Gail Dendy 2012-04-20 A new poem by Gail Dendy.

Don’t be afraid

Gail Dendy 2012-01-30 We’ll keep his ashes safe,
so don’t be afraid
to open the box.

Not like myself

Gail Dendy 2012-01-30 I’m not myself today.
From the bathroom sink
I lift up a face with its glassy eyes
and pallid flesh, shake off the water,
look again.
No, that’s not me. Definitely.

The parcel

Gail Dendy 2012-01-30 I made a parcel of it
and I left it there
on the kitchen table:

A Tale to Tell

Gail Dendy 2011-10-06

A Cat named Ollie

Gail Dendy 2011-10-05

The duvet

Gail Dendy 2011-09-02 The duvet has the brown stain
of cat’s paw, of general outside spaces
brought inside along with a dead bird, perhaps,