New Contrast is one of the first South African literary journals and it is devoted to publishing the best of poetry and prose, art, reviews and interviews from both local and international authors.


NEW CONTRAST Issue 195 – Spring 2021

As our editor, Masande Ntshanga, said this issue is like a dance “in form, in content, and in the interplay of themes between these writers; all of them occupied with a unique illumination of our shared moment.” In New Contrast 195 you can read an interview with the amazing Mia Arderne, author of Mermaid Fillet, read the newest poetry and prose by Melissa Sussens, Prenesa Naidoo, Sihle Ntuli, Gigi Gosnell, Juhné van Zåyl and many more, and enjoy beautiful artwork by Atang Tshikare.


NEW CONTRAST Issue 194 – Winter 2021

This issue contains a collection of contributors who, while diverse in background and approach, share a focus in their investigation of the complexities of human relationships, whether those relationships are cultivated with ourselves, with others, or with the planet. Included are the beautiful artworks by Adele van Heerden, poetry and prose by Dawn Garisch  Ntombi Kayise Mhlambi, Thaina Joyce, Edward Lee and many more.



The National Poetry Prize is a South African competition for a poem of up to 60 lines. Poets must reside in South Africa or be South African citizens. There is no theme; we are asking for each poet’s best original, unpublished work to be submitted. The competition is for poems in English. Poems can, however, be submitted in any of the official South African languages, provided they are accompanied by an English translation (judging will take place based on the English translation; any prize money awarded for a poem in translation will be shared equally between the poet and the translator). 


by Caitlin Alice Wiggill


Shouting scares me because I was only ever used to
hearing it come out of my own mouth.
Streams of words and syllables tumbling over each other,
impatient and stampeding.

My mother, like a hawk who hates lime green
watching me spit anger and frustration into the world,
only to pick me up and tell me to breathe.
And because of her, I breathe.

We all do.

But I breathe as an air-eater
great big gulps never-ending
and if you stand in the way of my meal,
I will breathe you in like old smoke.

(New Contrast issue 187)

Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses

‘n kunswerk deur Georgia O’Keeffe

deur Fourie Botha


In Nieu-Mexico se son
bleik Georgia O’Keeffe
die skedels van diere
spierwit, selfs
bleker as kapok.
In die woestyn
skroei sy vet
en sening weg
tot die kleur
van roos en steen,
brand lig deur been
en donker murg.

(New Contrast issue 177)

The Pigeon Farmer

by Abaashieyah Moses


Have you heard the sound of the pigeon farmer’s feeder
made from a recycled coffee tin, as he shakes it
at 5am calling for his winning birds
to come home? Have you seen these birds flying
in circles above their cage? Never straying far,
and never going missing. Notice how you and these birds
share a mutual sense of what and where home is –
even though you live in different rooms.

(New Contrast issue 191)