Latest Issue of ‘Illuminations’ Focuses on the ‘New South Africa’

The latest issue of Illuminations, the College of Charleston’s literary magazine, has been released and focuses on works by South African poets.

The issue — the literary publication’s 32nd — is guest edited by award-winning South African poet Kobus Moolman and showcases works representing the “new South Africa” that has arisen in the 20 years since the end of apartheid. It’s the third time Illuminations has published a special edition featuring South African literature. In 1989 the magazine — at the time based in Tanzania — published works from the end of apartheid, and in 1998 the publication featured works marking four years after Nelson Mandela’s election as president.

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“In addition to containing wonderful individual poems in each issue, the three issues collectively give an amazing snapshot of political and social change in South Africa, from the dark dark days at the end of apartheid to the current social, political, and racial anxieties of contemporary South Africa,” says Simon Lewis, the director of CofC’s African Studies Program and editor of Illuminations.

Illuminations was founded in 1982 in Columbia, South Carolina, and has been edited from Japan, England and Tanzania before returning to the Palmetto State under Lewis in 1996. It has published the work of three Literature Nobelists, Seamus Heaney, Joseph Brodsky and Nadine Gordimer, and two Peace Prize-winners, Desmond Tutu and climate-scientist Chris Magadza.

The magazine has also run special issues on writings from Vietnam, Cuba, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Greece, and has featured prominent photographers and artists, such as Simon Norfolk and David Hockney, as well as interviews with acclaimed poets and writers including Athol Fugard and Tim O’Brien. Its 2016 issue featured poetry and prose that responded to the mass shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the larger scope of race relations in South Carolina.

Copies of Illuminations are available by contacting Lewis at or 843-953-4972.