Antje Krog
1952 -


Antjie was born on 23 October 1952 on a farm in the Free State. She completed her BA degree with Afrikaans (cum laude), Philosophy (cum laude) and English at the University of the Orange Freestate and then she went on to obtain a Masters degree in Afrikaans at the University of Pretoria. She also completed a Teachers diploma (cum laude) at the University of South Africa. Antjie has published nine volumes of poetry, two volumes of verse for children, a short novel published by Heinemann and a book, Country of my Skull, on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission published by Random House.

Her first play was performed in South Africa recently and this dealt with a black woman and a white woman trying to come to terms with their past and future. Krog was awarded the Eugene Marais prize for the most promising young writer in 1973, she also got the Dutch/Flemish prize and the Reina Prinsen-Geerligs prize for most promising young writer in 1976. Again in 1990 she won the Hertzog prize for the best poetry volume over three years. The Pringle Award for excellence in journalism for reporting on the Truth Commission was awarded to her in 1996. In addition to these, she was also awarded the Foreign Correspondent award for outstanding journalism, the Allan Paton award for best South African non-fiction work and the Booksellers Award in 1999. An award from the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture for the year 2000 was awarded to her, recognizing the impact of her work in promoting peace though the arts.

Krog has delivered keynote speeches at the Zimbabwe Book Fair in 1998 and the Conference on Women and Violence organised by theWorld Bank in Washington 1998. She also has given lectures on aspects of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the University of London, the University of Glasgow, the Universities in Essen and Dortmund in Germany, the University of Utrecht and at NIZA (Netherlandsch Instituut voor Zuider Afrika) in Holland, as well as during a South African week in Antwerp, Belgium. She has given a series of lectures on the concept of Justice within the Truth Commission ambit at the Universities of Bishops, Concordia, McGill, Carleton and Toronto in Canada, as well as the New York University and Bard College in the UN.

She appears frequently as a guest on current affairs programmes of the BBC, of Hilversum in the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and America. She has been invited three times as poet to participate in Poetry International at Rotterdam, Nacht der Poezie in The Hague and the Berlin Literature festival. She was resident at the Royaumont Foundation for Poetry and Translation where several of her poems had been translated into French. Krog formed part of the south african writers delegation invited to Aix-en-Provence for the Cite de Livre in 1997 and was part of the La Caravane de la Poesie in 1999 - seven poets from Africa who travelled the ancient slave route from Goree, Senegal and back to Tombouctou, in Mali. She also chaired the English session at the Conference on Writing as a Duty of Memory held in Rwanda. She is the Director of the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation. Her book Country of my Skull is being widely prescribed at Universities in America and Europe as part of the curriculum dealing with writing about the past. She was recently asked to translate the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom into Afrikaans. She is married to architect John Samuel and they have four children.