James Matthews

James Matthews

A Poetry Reading

“For me, when you work you must take advantage of what you could use for the benefit of all of us….I understood that my words could be used as a weapon.”

James Matthews is a South African poet, writer and publisher.

He was detained by the apartheid government in 1976, and was denied a passport for 13 years.

In 1987, he was elected as patron of the Congress of South African Writers, and he established the first black-founded art gallery in South Africa, and the first black-owned publishing house. In 2000, he founded the publishing house Realities.

In 2014 Shelley Barry's documentary, Diaries of A Dissident Poet; a film profiling James Matthews, premiered at the Encounters Film Festival in South Africa.[1]