Famous Poets from South Africa

List of notable or famous poets from South Africa, with bios and photos, including the top poets born in South Africa and even some popular poets who immigrated to South Africa. If you're trying to find out the names of famous South African poets then this list is the perfect resource for you. These poets are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known poet from South Africa is included when available.

This list below has a variety of people in it, from J. R. R. Tolkien to Antjie Krog.

This historic poets from South Africa list can help answer the questions "Who are some South African poets of note?" and "Who are the most famous poets from South Africa?" These prominent poets of South Africa may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected South African poets.

Use this list of renowned South African poets to discover some new poets that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • Antjie Krog (born 23 October 1952) is a South African poet, academic, and writer. In 2004, she joined the Arts faculty of the University of the Western Cape.
    • Age: 70
    • Birthplace: Kroonstad, South Africa
  • Breyten Breytenbach (; born 16 September 1939) is a South African writer and painter known for his opposition to apartheid, and consequent imprisonment by the South African government. He is informally considered as the national poet laureate by Afrikaans-speaking South Africans of the region. He also holds French citizenship.
    • Age: 83
    • Birthplace: Bonnievale, Western Cape
  • David Wright
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    David John Murray Wright (23 February 1920 – 28 August 1994) was an author and "an acclaimed South African-born poet".
    • Age: Dec. at 74 (1920-1994)
    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Dennis Brutus
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Dennis Vincent Brutus (28 November 1924 – 26 December 2009) was a South African activist, educator, journalist and poet best known for his campaign to have South Africa banned from the Olympic Games due to its controversial racial policy of apartheid.
    • Age: Dec. at 85 (1924-2009)
    • Birthplace: Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Don Mattera
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Donato Francisco Mattera (born 1935), better known as Don Mattera, is a South African poet and author.
    • Age: 88
    • Birthplace: South Africa
  • Frederick Guy Butler
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Frederick Guy Butler (21 January 1918 - 26 April 2001) was a South African poet, academic and writer.
    • Age: Dec. at 83 (1918-2001)
    • Birthplace: Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa