Ingrid Andersen

In Issue 2 on November 1, 2008 at 11:38 am


Holding white-knuckled to
ties from every side
binding me to
this life, this self, this now.
Feeling the ropes pulling free,
bruising hands, twist by twist.

To open my arms
palms up, fingers wide,
to surrender the tensions
in which I stand
is unthinkable,


“My prophets and prophets,” mourns the Lord.

His sad and weary messengers
who see,
who hear

and are not understood.

Ingrid Andersen (born 1965) is a South African poet. Andersen was born in Johannesburg , lived in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape from 2003-2007 and now lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She worked as a theatre publicist in the 1980s, the days of political protest theatre, at the Market Theatre and PACT, amongst others. As South Africa began to rebuild after the first democratic elections, she became active in community development, first as CEO of the Rosebank Homeless Association and then at Rhodes University as the Community Engagement Manager. She currently works as the co-ordinator for the Pietermaritzburg Anti-Xenophobia Coalition. She is also researching for her Masters in Community Development Theology. Seventeen years of writing culminated in her debut poetry collection, Excision, which was published in 2005. It was reviewed in Wordstock, the National Arts Festival WordFest newspaper, as “well-crafted, controlled and concise…a strong debut collection containing sensitive and poignant sketches…Andersen wields her pen with surgical precision” (Warren 2005). Her poems have appeared in several South African literary journals, including including Imprint, Green Dragon, Aerial, Carapace and Slugnews. She presented her work at WordFest at the National Arts Festival in 2004 and 2005. (adapted from

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