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Michelle McGrane PDF Print E-mail

Michelle McGrane (1974 - ) was born in Zimbabwe. She spent her childhood in Malawi, and moved to South Africa with her family when she was fourteen. McGrane has lived in Pietermaritzburg since 1988.

McGrane has published two collections of poetry, Fireflies & Blazing Stars (2002) and Hybrid (2003). She was the recipient of the South African Writers' Circle Hilde Slinger Poetry Award in 2003 and the Quill Award in 2004. McGrane's poems have been published in local literary journals such as Fidelities, Botsotso, Kotaz, LitNet and Timbila as well as internationally in the United Kingdom, America and Canada.

McGrane is dedicated to promoting South African writing and has a strong commitment to developing her work and the work of other writers, through participating in creative writing networks. She was involved as a mentor in the Agenda Feminist Media Project Creative Writing Programme in 2004. This is a writing programme that enables writers with concrete skills to reflect on and write about issues of gender. It specifically seeks to help writers write for an audience and for publication.

She was a participant in the Centre for the Book's Turning the Page festival of emerging South African writing, sponsored by the National Arts Council and the Department of Arts & Culture. The event was held in Cape Town in November 2004.


Selected Work

Mountain Picnic

Remember that first weekend
we met, we jumped into
your car, drove up
through the mountains, excited
but unsettled by this
spontaneous advent.
You wanted to hike,
I wanted to swim, you
let me have my way.
We lay down along
the narrow river's
edge, shared a threadbare
orange towel, watched
the water dip and swirl,
sweep round mossy
boulders. Inspired by
the scenery, I told you
you had eagle's eyes.
We drank pink champagne
from long-stemmed flutes, ate
leftover chocolate cake,
talked quietly, sticky hands
entwined, you stroked my
face, head cushioned
in your lap. Brooding clouds
rolled over blue peaks,
it began to pelt warm
summer rain, but we were
wet already. Giddy
with wine and secrets,
bedraggled, grinning ear to
ear, something unaccountably
light was born.




2002. Fireflies & Blazing Stars. Pietermaritzburg: Trayberry Press.
2003. Hybrid. Pietermaritzburg: Trayberry Press.
2011. The Suitable Girl. South Africa. Modjaji Books.