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Rhodes Trust 120th Anniversary Reunion

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CHRIS MANN

(Diocesan College, Rondebosch & St Edmund Hall 1971) (6 April 1948 - 10 March 2021)

CHRIS MANN

Chris studied English and Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, and went on to study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he was awarded an MA in English Language and Literature. He went on to Rhodes University where he was a professor of poetry with the Institute for the Study of English in Africa. Chris founded Wordfest, a national multilingual festival of South African languages and literature with a developmental emphasis.

Chris wrote poetry for publication, performance, and multi-media presentation using the graphics of modern technology (created by artist Julia Skeen, Chris's wife). His work appeared in a wide range of journals, textbooks and anthologies in South Africa and abroad. His many publications include First Poems (Bateleur Press, 1979), New Shades (David Philip,1982), Kites (David Philip, 1992), Mann Alive! (David Philip, 1992), South Africans (University of Natal Press, 1996) and Heartlands (University of Natal Press, 2002). 

Chris was an active member of the Hall Writers’ Forum. He posted his Valediction to Seamus Heaney there, as a contribution to our National Poetry Day commemorative event in 2013 – it was read movingly by his sister beside the candle-lit well in the front quad, and subsequently published in the Oxford Magazine.