Publications: A list

Among the publications Anne Schuster has been responsible for are:

Kilimanjaro on my Lap a collection of poetry by Epiphanie Mukasano, 2010.
Writing the Self: An anthology of new writing from Women’s Writing Workshops, 2008.
Living on the Fence: Poems by women who are refugees from various countries in Africa, 2007.
Women Flashing: A collection of flash fiction from Women’s Writing Workshops, 2006.
Journey to Myself: writings by women from prison in South Africa. A collection of writing from a series of workshops with women in Pollsmoor Prison, 2004.
A woman sits down to write: Orts and Fragments from Women’s Writing Workshops, 2003.
In My Life: Youth stories and poems about HIV and AIDS. A collection of writing from a series of workshops with youth from different communities in the Western Cape, 2003.
Remember Me? Stories from women who work on farms, a collection of stories and poems from a workshop designed and facilitated for Women on Farms Project, 2002.
Nelspoort ons lief en leed, a collection of writing from a workshop with 16 women from Nelspoort, for the Southern Cape Land Committee, 2001. Book launched 2002.
Women Recall, a collection of women’s life stories produced from workshops co-facilitated (with Annemarie Hendrikz) for the Southern Cape Land Committee, 2000.
Piecing together the Past, a collection of writing from a workshop held at the District Six Museum, August 2000.

My greatest satisfaction when I look back at my work over the last 12 years is to know that I enabled this “community of women writers” (as Ingrid de Kok once described it). ~ Anne Schuster


Latest publication- Kilimajaro on my Lap, by Epiphanie Mukasano

KILIMANJARO ON MY LAP by Epiphanie Mukasano
published by DAKINI (May 2010)

This collection of poems by Epiphanie Mukasano is edited by Gabeba Baderoon who says on the cover:

In Kilimajaro on my Lap Epiphanie Mukasano has written a collection of poetry as sanctuary. The stories and images recounted here are honest in their recollection of suffering, yet do not dwell there nor seek too quick a solace. Indeed, they feel both necessary and serene. In the collection, the speakers contemplate the buffeting political forces that have displaced them and the distances they have travelled since. Even more than war, the poems reveal the breathtaking power of poverty to render people invisible. Poetry’s power is to unveil its speakers. Atop the highest mountain on the continent, taken for a beggar with neither history nor significance, a speaker surveys the world before her with clear and encompassing grace. Her lucid and compassionate view of the world, burnished by memory and unstinting labour, makes a sanctuary out of hard ground. This is a collection of rare accomplishment by a welcome new poetic voice.

About the author:

EPIPHANIE MUKASANO is originally from Rwanda where she used to be a teacher. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature and now lives as a refugee in Cape town with her husband and children. Her poems have been published in Living on the Fence (2007), and she contributed a story to the collection of birth stories Just keep breathing, published by Jacana in 2008. Most recently, Cambridge University Press has published her children’s story Shema and the goat (2009).

Available from Clarke’s Bookshop in Long Street, Kalk Bay Books and direct from Anne Schuster.

Writing the Self

Writing the Self: An anthology of new writing from Women’s Writing Workshops (2008)

Compiled and edited by Anne Schuster, Maire Fisher and Annemarie Hendrikz.

INCLUDES: Writing your Self – working with poetic forms through a selection of writing exercises from Anne Schuster’s writing workshops.

Writing the Self was born from exploring the seven chakras or energy centres of our bodies. ‘Grounding the writing in the body … the writers discovered the source of creative energy within themselves.

Anne Schuster’s workshops for women are magical, honouring writing as an important act of creation. The diverse writing in this anthology reflects that magic.’

– Pregs Govender

‘What a rush! A heady and released outpouring! A freeflow of women’s words, experience, expression and emotion. It’s like drinking from a river of creative energies and discovering the well-spring source at the same time.’

– Nancy Richards

Writing the Self is an out-of-the-box, multi-faceted creation which will inspire many who want to write, speak and stir in non-traditional forms to just do it and let the grass spring wildly around them. What we have here is a journey in to ‘bodymind’ and beyond, a tapestry of conversations looping in and out and into infinite spheres of being. This anthology is truly a universe of creative possibilities.’

– Sipho Mthathi

A brilliant review of Writing the Self in the Cape Times
Published November 23, 2008


BOOKS – Cape Times, Friday, November 7, 2008

WOW! That was the first thought that came to mind after reading this gem, Writing the Self – An Anthology of new writing (Women’s Writing Workshops).

Not that I want to be accused of plagiarising the Cape Times/Woman of Worth (WOW) award, but this anthology is truly a wonderful tribute to these women writers of worth.

Dedicated to the late Margaret Legum, whose poetry is included. Editors Anne Schuster, Annemarie Hendrikz and Maire Fisher decided earlier this year that the exceptional writing that flowed from Schuster’s monthly writing workshops in Cape Town should be complied and shared with a wider audience.

At the recent launch at the Centre for the Book, the spirit of generosity that binds these women together was palpable as the festivities continued into the night with husbands and male partners joining the women in giving themselves a hearty pat on the back for this joint achievement.

Sarah-Anne Raynham, who did the design and layout, Clare Gibbon, who assisted with editing and Ruth Carneson, whose artwork appears on the cover, are all members of the ” monthlies”.

But back to the writing.

Short stories, short short stories and sublime poetry, while often reflecting the writers’ African roots, all seem to elevate the essence of being a woman onto a universal plane.

An unusual feature is that the sections are divided not by subject matter, but according to the seven chakras that was the theme of recent workshops. The women worked with colour, the senses and the elements (earth, fire, water and air) which Schuster believes helped “connect the writers with the deep energy source we all have inside us”.

For example, the works chosen to reflect the second chakra, with its water element, range from Legum’s poem ‘Beloved’ to Nella Freund’s ‘My Wild and Ecstatic Woman’ interspersed with an erotic prose piece on ‘Purple Plums’ by Anne Woodborne.

As I read – and re-read – this delightful anthology, it is an impossible task to single out any particular writer that is better than the next.

But, for me, Benita Loff’s poem ‘Seeing Fairies’ dedicated to her autistic son, Luca, and Bridgette Whyte’s reminiscences of the effect of the Group Areas Act in ‘A different time’, were particularly moving.

But then there is Cathy Stagg’s ‘A woman from another time’ and Helen Douglas’s ‘Later, she’ll ride her bike forever’ and ‘Miss Conradie and the angels’ by Gillian Munn and Mary Monaghan’s ‘Poem of Desire’ – just too many to mention.

So dip in, savour this book over and over again and share it with others.

A marvellous collection of poetry and prose – that is anything but prosaic.

A bonus: Schuster has included a detailed section on how to “free write” and create poetry which she has adapted from her workshops to suit the needs of a novice. Try it – it’s fun!

* Writing the Self is available from Clarke’s bookshop; Kalk Bay Books and via this website.

– Jean von Witt

There are still some copies available at a special price of R100 plus packaging and postage. Contact Anne Schuster.

Living on the Fence

Living on the Fence
Poems by women who are refugees from various countries in Africa

Compiled and Edited by Mary Magdalene Yuin Tal and Anne Schuster

Come to this book to hear its voices and stories, its sadness and hard-earned pleasures. In these poems sixteen writers become known to us. And what sweet and illuminating recognition there is in their stories – profound, funny and private. The writers are women who have experienced fear and tragedy which linger in memory and the remembering body. And yet we will read the poems collected here not only for solidarity, for sympathy, but for the loveliness of the writing.

Gabeba Baderoon

Amna Ngoyi (DRC), Amy Kashama (DRC), Epiphanie Mukasano (Rwanda), Flora Mandudu (Uganda), Florence Kituyi (Uganda), Juliette Dusabe Hakiza (Rwanda), Justine Nzayisenga Sibomana (Rwanda), Liliane Kwizera Limenyande (Rwanda), Mary Magdalene Yuin Tal (Cameroon), Maryann Tal (Cameroon),Ngwetoh Nchangmum Wanka (Cameroon), Peggy Kashama (DRC), Precilia Chuloi (Cameroon) , Tereza Mupanga (DRC),Tiye Tshilemba (DRC), Vanessa Mario (Angola).

Available from Clarke’s Bookshop, Long Street, Kalk Bay Books, Kalk Bay.


Women Flashing

Women Flashing
A collection of Flash Fiction from Women’s Writing Workshops

Edited by Maire Fisher
Published by Women’s Writing Workshops

Review of Women Flashing by Kim Donnelly in South Africa Writing Vol 1, January 2006

This is a ‘must have’ collection of flash fiction compiled from Anne Schuster’s all women writing groups, edited by Maire Fisher and published by Women’s Writing Workshops. these compact tales romp through the nooks and crannies of our every day experience leaving in their wake the sense that somehow, somewhere someone had been in your shoes at least once.

Rather than being strictly divided into genres the stories are poured out in a steady stream, land-marked along the way by lines of poetry by Colleen Higgs. Lines like ‘I like to turn back’, ‘tenderness falls like nightfall’ and ‘finally to speak the unspeakable,’ mark your way through groups of stories with a common thread.

This little gem belongs in your handbag, next to your bed or the loo, wherever it is that you take time out to reflect and see yourself in the greater scheme of things. This greater scheme is our daily living and how we respond to it. We fight with our social system, our families, our partners and ourselves. We are kind, naive, wise and ignorant – all depending on where we are standing at the time and this book is made up of one hundred and five possibilities life could have thrown at us.


Published writers

… A woman sits down to write. She sits down at the grey trestle table in the familiar room surrounded by other writing women. She notes the beautiful seriousness on all their faces – varied in age and occupation, committed to writing. She has left behind the dust, the dirt, the sticky pots and pans, the soiled linen. She feels the warmth that starts in her belly and slowly spreads throughout her body, and knows that it is time. She writes as they write, the women around her. They have carved out this little chunk of time. They feel, for these cherished moments, their real selves. She knows that, if she is blessed, she will carry the feeling off, out and home, like a secret rhythm …

~ an excerpt from A woman sits down to write published in 2003 by Women’s Writing Workshops. (Now out of print, this previous collection of ‘Orts and Fragments from Women’s Writing Workshops’ was published in 2003.)


Some members, past and present of Anne’s groups are:

Anne Woodborne (with Basil Appollis), Silence of the Music, premiered at the Baxter Theatre, September, 2010.
Beth Hunt, Hermanus (Penstock Publishing, Hemel en See Boeke/Books).
Christine Coates (with Stephen Malherbe), Living with my X, (Random House/Struik).
Colleen Higgs, halfborn woman (Hands-On Books), founder of Modjaji Books.
Consuelo Roland, The Good Cemetery Guide (Double Storey Books), short-listed for Sunday Times Fiction Prize; Honorable Mention Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose.
Gail Gilbride Bohle, The Web of Silence (Online at Crink).
Epiphanie Mukasano, Kilimanjaro on my Lap (Dakini).
Helen Douglas, Love and Arms: On violence and justification after Levinas (Trivium Publications).
Hester van der Walt, Hester se Brood (Modjaji Books).
Jean, Behind the Curtain: Jean’s Journey to Sobriety (Human and Rousseau), long-listed for the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction.
Joanne Fedler, When Hungry, Eat; Things Without A Name; Secret Mother’s Business; The Dreamcloth (Jacana and Allen and Unwin).
Joanne Hichens (with Mike Nichols), Out to Score (Random House / Struik); (Ed) Bad Company (Macmillan); (Ed) The Bed Book of Short Stories (Modjaji Books).
Karen Brooks, Emily and the Battle of the Veil and Emily and the Sprites of Light (Self published).
Karen Cochlovius, Desert Varnish (Kwela).
Karin Schimke and Margie Orford, Fabulously 40 and Beyond – Women Coming Into Their Own (Spearhead Press).
Kiki Theo, Money Well; Money Alchemy; Wealth Journey (Penguin).
Lynne Carneson McGregor, Red in the Rainbow (Random House / Struik).
Margaret Legum, Learning to saunter (Kalk and Cheese Press).
Margie Orford, Daddy’s Girl and subsequent Clare Hart thrillers (Jonathan Ball)
Mary Monaghan, Remember Me; Who Do You Belong To? (Self published).
Melissa Steyn and Mikki van Zyl, (Eds), The Prize & The Price: Shaping Sexualities in South Africa (HSRC Press).
Pregs Govender, Love and Courage: A Story of Insubordination (Jacana), long-listed for the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction.
Rahla Xenopoulos, A Memoir of Love and Madness: Living with bipolar disorder (Zebra).
Ruth Carneson, finalist for Penguin Prize for African Writing.
Shaida Ali, Not a Fairy Tale (Random House / Struik).
Tracy Farren, Whiplash (Modjaji), short-listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize.
Willemien De Villiers, Kitchen Casualties; Angel in the Tree House (Jacana).

Many monthlies have been published in poetry collections, literary journals and short story anthologies and have won writing competitions. Among them are:

Anne Woodborne, Avis MacIntyre, Beth Hunt, Chantal Stewart, Christine Coates, Colleen Higgs, Consuelo Roland, Epiphanie Mukasano, Erika Coetzee, Helen Douglas, Irene Zeelie, Joanne Fedler, Joanne Hichens ,Karin Schimke, Loubna Freih, Maire Fisher, Margie Orford, Mish Damstra, Nella Freund, Rahla Xenopoulos, Susan Ziehl, Tanya Chan-Sam, Tracey Farren and Wilhelmien de Villers.

I’m often amazed that people don’t realise or recognise the power of women’s creative spaces.  They think the fact that I make it a women’s only space is just an odd quirk of mine, and the fact that The Monthlies has grown from a handful of women when I started Women’s Writing Workshops in 1999 to the splendid number of 100-plus women at the last workshop, is some strange, unexplained phenomenon.

– Anne Schuster