| Kobus Moolman was born in 1964. He has a Masters degree in English and an Honours degree in Drama Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently completing his doctorate in English, with a special focus on creative writing. He has worked as English teacher and sub-editor on The Witness.He was formerly head of the Education Department at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, a position he held for thirteen years. He is currently a lecturer in creative writing in the Department of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, where he is registered for his PhD.In 1992 he was a finalist in the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award. He is the recipient of the BBC African Radio Theatre Award (1987), the Macmillan Southern African Playwriting Award (1991) and in 2000 he won a merit award in the Noupoort Reward for Playwriting.
In 1998 he was awarded the Helen Martins Fellowship which enabled him to spend a month in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda working on an anthology of poetry. This collection, entitled, Time like Stone was published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in June 2000. The collection was awarded the Ingrid Jonker Prize for 2001, the premier South African award for a debut anthology.
In 2001 Moolman was one of five South African poets featured in a collection by Botsotso Publishers, entitled simply, 5 Poetry.
In 2003 he was awarded 2nd prize in the BBC African Performance radio drama competition. His winning play was produced for the BBC World Service in April 2003. In the same year it was also read at the Moscow Theatre Festival of New Writing.
His second collection of poetry, Feet of the Sky was published by Brevitas Press in 2003.
In 2004, he was selected to be one of the invited poets at the Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, where his work was enthusiastically received.
In the same year his play, Full Circle, was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Script in the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) Festival of Reading of New Writing. The play premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2005, directed by Charmaine Weir-Smith, and was critically acclaimed. It was subsequently produced at the Hilton College Theatre in Pietermaritzburg and at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. The play was also produced as part of the Southern African theatre season at the Oval House Theatre in London in 2006.
In the same year he was commissioned by Bush Radio (Cape Town) to adapt Gomolemo Mokae’s short story, “Milk and Honey Galore, Honey” for the radio.
His fourth collection of poetry, Separating the Seas, was published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in the same year. And at the end of 2007 Dye Hard Press published the script of his award-winning play, Full Circle.
In the same year he was also named joint winner of the 2007 NLDTF/PANSA Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings of New Writing for his new play, Stone Angel. This is the second time he has won this major South African award for theatre writing. The play premiered at the 2008 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, directed by Claire Mortimer. It was subsequently performed to critical acclaim at the Square Space Theatre in Durban.
He was the founding editor of the annual KwaZulu-Natal poetry journal, Fidelities, which ran from 1995 until 2007. As co-ordinator of the Fidelities Poetry Project he conducted creative writing workshops and readings for a variety of interest groups, from offenders in prison to high school youth. From 2000 to 2009 he edited the poetry titles for the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, working on collections by Karen Press, Mxolisi Nyezwa, Kelwyn Sole and Makhosazana Xaba, amongst others.
In 2007, he was the convenor and chairperson of the selection committee for the Olive Schreiner Poetry Prize sponsored by the English Academy of Southern Africa. In 2008, he was on the panel of adjudicators for the Ingrid Jonker award, and in 2009 he was a judge for the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry.
At the beginning of 2008, he participated in a three-week collaborative residency at the Caversham Centre for Writers and Artists in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. During this residency he produced a limited edition, hand-bound collection of poems entitled Anatomy. This cycle of poems was later published in the Journal of Disability Studies (Ohio State University). It won the Dramatic and Literary Rights (DALRO) Prize for the best poem to appear in New Coin magazine in 2008.
In 2008, his short story, ‘Farewell At Vetch’s Pier’, was published in the collection, Durban in a Word (Penguin Books). And in the same year his play, Full Circle was produced by the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
In 2009 his poem ‘Boy’ was nominated for a US Pushcart Prize.
In 2010 he was a special guest, for two months, of the Creative Writing Research Group of the University of Calgary in Canada. During this period he gave readings of his work and lectured. He was subsequently also invited to give a reading at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He was also an invited guest at the 2010 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, during which time he performed at the Banff Centre for the Arts and in Canmore.
In the same year he edited and published, Tilling the Hard Soil: poetry, prose and art by South African Writers with Disabilities (University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal Press). He was also the invited dramaturge on a two-week residency for South African and Dutch scriptwriters organized by the Twist Theatre Development Project during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
2010 also marked the publication of his latest anthology, Light and After (deep south press). The collection was launched at the National English Literary Museum in Grahamstown, and again at the 14th Poetry Africa festival in Durban. The collection has been widely acknowledged as his strongest to date.
Apart from leading literary journals and websites in South Africa and abroad, his work has also appeared in the following collections:
Soundings: an anthology of poems selected from the 1988 Sanlam Literary Award, edited by Douglas Reid Skinner, Carrefour Press (1989);
Kobus teaches creative writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.
In die jaar 2000 het die Universiteit van Stellenbosch ’n eredoktorsgraad aan hom toegeken.