Karin Schimke

In her second volume of poetry, poet Karin Schimke explores the idea of home, contemplating notions of belonging and un-belonging and the various places and ways in which one is “at home”.

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With her characteristic lyricism, Schimke questions the poet’s right or duty to speak, while delivering a meditation on love in all its cruel, gleaming facets, as she traces her own psychic constellations back into the blistering orbit of her father. Drawing from the blood and milk of memory, in symphonic shifts of language, her poems are as forgiving as they are furious, summoning both the elemental and the numinous in a masterful painting of the relationship between people and the natural world. Traversing the haunted landscapes of the past and present, the political and the personal, Navigate is a psalm, startling in its honesty, unforgettable in its beauty.

Karin Schimke

Karin Schimke’s debut book of poetry Bare & Breaking won the prestigious Ingrid Jonker Award in 2014. Navigate is her second collection. Schimke is a widely published journalist and works as a writer, editor, writing teacher and a translator. In 2016, she won the South African Literature prize for translation for Flame In the Snow – The Love Letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker. She lives in Cape Town.

Karin Schimke's author page

Schimke’s first collection won the prestigious Ingrid Jonker prize for debut poetry in 2014.

“Navigate is sublime. Schimke’s poems steer between memory and loss, beauty and hurt, while forging a path to understanding, joy, holding on.”
Karina Magdalena, Cape Times

“Throughout the volume, a wide range of subjects and diverse techniques are skilfully interwoven with a broad spectrum of emotions and finely tuned diction… No small achievement.”
Tony Ullyatt, LitNet

“This dense collection is nothing if not heartfelt. Schimke’s poetry leaves me with a sense of fragmented completeness and in this contradiction, a freedom. A testament to the myriad elements of what it means to be human, each in their mundane and dramatic, exquisite and distressing way”
Louietta du Toit, Aerodrome

“Incredible economy and precision, arresting imagery and nimble word placement… Since we are all trying to navigate our way, many of the poems will have resonance for readers.”
– Moira Lovell, Stanzas