Simon van Schalkwyk launched his debut poetry collection Transcontinental Delay at the Cavendish Square branch of Exclusive Books on Thursday March 18. He was in conversation with researcher and cultural theorist, Dr Wamuwi Mbao.
Simon grew up in Wynberg and attended St Columba’s Senior Secondary in Athlone. He now lives in Johannesburg where he is a lecturer in the Department of English Studies at Wits University and is the academic editor for the Johannesburg Review of Books.
In Transcontinental Delay, Simon tracks experiences of imminent arrival and departure, periods of waiting and suspension between destinations. He draws on localities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Britain, Argentina and Sweden, considering the world from a position of “transcendental homelessness” rather than more conventional expressions of estrangement, alienation, or exile.
Simon is a recipient of the Philip Stein Award for Poetry and also of the Mamphela Ramphele scholarship. He has BA Hons and PhD degrees in English literature from UCT and went on to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Modern and Contemporary Poetry from the University of Bristol in England.