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Adrian Flett PDF Print E-mail

Flett (1936 - ) was born in Pietermaritzburg and grew up on a farm in the Richmond area. He was farm schooled in his early years and then began formal learning at Richmond School, from age 8 years. Flett continued with his education at Maritzburg College from 1950 to 1953. He later studied through UNISA where he majored in English.

Flett has worked primarily in the commerce field. He managed branches of United Bank at Rosettenville, Braamfontein and Springs. He operated his own Accounting and Tax Practice from 2001 to 2015. However, writing creatively had always been an interest since his youth. His grandmother had shelves of books for him to read and nurtured his love for literature and a desire to write. 'Place' has also had a distinct influence on his literature. Flett told the project that:

Richmond (the area I grew up in) has an on-going influence on my life and writing. Maritzurg and Howick have both also influenced my writing. I am a member of the Howick Writers Circle and the annual Festival both stimulate and inspire my writing. Creative writing is all linked and coloured by the places and people that have made up your life and how they have influenced it.

He has written short stories, poems and three novels to date.

Flett currently lives in Howick. He is widowed with four children and seven grandchildren. He is involved in several projects. He is conducting research with Penny Letley into a ‘bushman’ or San person who lived around 1820 in the Eastern Cape with a view to write, either a book, or a series of articles for various journals depending on the results of the research. He is an enthusiastic member of the Howick Writers' Circle which meets monthly. Flett also plans to publish a book of short stories and has another novel in the works.

More of his poetry can be viewed on the Poem Hunter website here.

Selected Work

Excerpt from A doe at dusk:

She held back as she had when he’d first suggested the idea.  All the hurtful thoughts were on the surface hindering a possible friendship.

“I’m in a place of limbo – no thoughts for the future and trying to ignore the past – trying to see if I can shed it and maybe move on from it. The damage is still there though even as I think it’s going away – just suddenly it’s back with me.  It sinks me back to now, I’m sorry – I said I would be bad company – I did warn you – didn’t I?”

A movement down near the stream caught his eye, and made him first notice the doe, as it walked stealthily upstream into the wind the late sun highlighting the fine hairs at the fringe of each ear, tail flicking, eyes and ears alert.  Through the stubble, one tentative step at a time it came.  The sudden lift of head and extension of its long neck to observe, ears flicking as if lightly touched by some invisible irritation; its whole body tuned to a high pitch of pent up energy ready to spring forth in flight. Despite the sense of tautness it seemed to move with a relaxed gentle motion, the high stepping but soft landing of each leg, as it came up the hill in the gathering dusk.

Addington Beach 2:

Hear the surging lift

of water weight sheer and clear

in wave’s  lip hover and spume,

until the foam dance white sparkle

at the thin top edge

of sensuous lip so finely carved

bowl edge of crystal delicacy

in sun’s rays and breeze flighted spray

ridges, cresting with my hope.

But gravity’s crush crashes

down and down into white flat foam;

leaves the surface

as a wild animal’s coat

spotted and blotched so haphazardly neat

as I feel the load of my grief.


All the gods must smile: broadcast by SABC 29th June 1992

Lady in waiting: broadcast by SABC 29th December 1994


Fidelities 2000-2002, VI-IX, A selection of contemporary poetry from South Africa.

Addington Beach 1.

Addington Beach 2,

When I jog.

Grafted In

In Crossways Inn.


Flett,A. & Letley,P. 2002. Ukhahlamba Cathedral Peak, for the visitor.

Research Publications:

Flett, A. & Letley, P. 2007. Brother Otto Maeder: an examination and evaluation of his work as a rock art recorder in South Africa. South African Humanities 19: 103-121.

Flett, A. & Letley, P. 2013. Style and stylistic change in the rock art of the southeastern mountains of southern Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 68: 3-14

Book reviews:

Flett, A. & Letley, P. 2003. Review: Lewis-Williams, J.D. 2003. Images of mystery: rock art of the Drakensberg. South African Archaeological Bulletin 58.

Flett, A. & Letley, P. 2013. Review: Working with Rock Art. South African Archaeological Bulletin 69.


Award for rock art monitoring: Heritage Conservation in KwaZulu Natal - 2002.