BA, BA (Hons), MA, KwaZulu-Natal. PhD candidate, Stellenbosch

Office: Room 123, AC Jordan Building


Sindiswa Busuku is a creative writer and scholar. She grew up in Durban. Having been awarded a doctoral scholarship by the Graduate School for Arts and Social Sciences, she is currently reading for a PhD at Stellenbosch University. Her dissertation, ‘A Young Lilac Hungering: An Original Novel Including Wild Speculations: Essays Creatively Writing B(l)ack Into Uneasy Embodiments Through Examples Of Contemporary South/African Visual And Verbal Arts’, thinks through ideas of black fugitivity, black wandering, migration, diaspora, transnationalism, and the crisis of black histories and futurities.

Busuku earned a MA in Creative Writing from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2015. In 2016, she published her debut poetry collection titled Loud and Yellow Laughter (Botsotso). In 2018, Loud and Yellow Laughter won the Ingrid Jonker Prize For Poetry. She was awarded second place for the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Gerald Kraak Award for African Writers and Artists.

Her teaching and research blur creative and critical methods, and writing genres, in order to imaginatively reconfigure the strictures that conventionally separate the poetic and the theoretical. Her current research focuses on ideas concerned with hybrid genres, the speculative imagination, archives, critical fabulations, and pedagogies of creative writing.

Research Interests

Teaching Creative Writing

South/African and International Poetry

Archives and Critical Fabulations

Hybrid Genres

South African Speculative Fiction, Weird Fiction, and Futurity

The Body, Embodiment and Representation

Memory and Postmemory Studies

Human-non-Human Animal Studies



S. Busuku. A Young Lilac Hungering (Forthcoming).

S. Busuku-Mathese. Loud and Yellow Laughter. Botsotso Publishing, South Africa, 2016.


 “In The Summerhouse Of The Mind: The Black Wandering Child, The Storyteller, and The Speculative Imagination.” (Article manuscript in progress)

“It’s not Personal, it’s just Business: Market or Artistic Value when Credentialing Creative Writing Graduates in South African Universities?” Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa 27 (2) 2015.

Literary Publications

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Night”, Georgia State University, Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art, Vol. 19, no. 1, December 2018.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Visiting”, The Single Story Foundation, August 2018.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “A Fragment From Mother”, Unearthed: A Selection of the Best Poems of 2016. Edited by Joan Hambidge and Michele Betty. Dryad Press, May 2017.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Portrait of A Mother And Indiscretion”, College of Charleston, Illuminations: Special South African Issue. Issue 32, May 2017.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Funerals”, “Book of Chronicles”, “Visiting”, New Contrast: South African Literary Journal, 176, Vol. 44, Summer 2016.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Sheila: She Was A Friend Of Mine”, “Father: On Being A Husband”, New Contrast: South African Literary Journal. 173, Vol. 44, Autumn 2016.

S.Busuku-Mathese. “Five Hooks in The Air”, Ons Klyntji. Vol. 119, August 2015.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Porcupine Man”, Aerodrome, October 2015.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Portrait of A Mother and Indiscretion”, Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, 2015.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Mother’s Lyric (i)”, “Sobriety and Grief”, Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, 2014.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Mother’s Lyric (i), Prufrock, Vol. 2, Issue 3, December 2014.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Mother’s Lyric (i) (ii) (iii)”, New Coin, Vol. 50, no. 2, December 2014.

S. Busuku-Mathese. “Stone Wall”, New Coin, Vol. 3 .51, no.1, December 2014.

Published Interviews

An Interview with Gabeba Baderoon by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese. New Contrast: South African Literary Journal, 179, Vol. 45, Spring 2017.

An Interview with Fred Khumalo by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese. New Contrast: South African Literary Journal, 178, Vol. 45, Winter 2017.

Literary Awards/Achievements

2018: Winner of Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry for Loud and Yellow Laughter (Botsotso 2016)

2017: Shortlisted: The University of Johannesburg Debut Prize for South African Writing in English for Loud and Yellow Laughter (Botsotso 2016)

2016: Shortlisted: Gerald Kraak Award for African Writers and Artists for “Midnight in Lusikisiki (Or The Ruin of The Gentle Women)”

2015: Second Prize: Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award for “Portrait of A Mother and Indiscretion”

Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants

2016: Recipient of three-year full-time residential Doctoral Scholarship from The National Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Conference Presentations

Paper “Towards a Feral Poetics of Humanimality”. Presented at The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Annual National Doctoral Conference. 31 October - 1 November 2018.

Paper “Speculative Fiction and Black Embodiments”. Presented at the University of Western Cape “Postgraduate Conference on Literature, Creative Writing, Media and Culture”. 22-23 May 2018.

Paper “Music, Memory, Memorial: Thinking Through Music and Mourning in Selected Poems from Loud and Yellow Laughter”. Presented at Artistic Intersections as Tools of Resistance: Musical-Literary Crossovers in Contemporary South Africa Conference at the University of Johannesburg. 15-17 September 2017.

Paper “Loud and Yellow Laughter: Exploring Authorial Ethics and the Dynamics of Power”. Presented at Writing for Liberty Conference at University of Western Cape. Organised by Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research, UWC Creates, in collaboration with Lancaster University. 27-29 March 2017.

Paper “Dark Matter: Exploring the Phenomenon of the Black South African Void in South African Speculative Fiction”. Presented at Struggles for Liberation in Contemporary Southern African Literatures and Cultures at University of KwaZulu-Natal. 10-11 November 2016.

Roundtable panellist “Literary Apartheid and the Literary Imagination: Getting Under the Skin of South African Speculative Fiction”. Presented at The 17th Triennial ACLALS Conference at Stellenbosch University. Fellow panellists: Dr. Nadia Sanger, Dr. Nedine Moonsamy and Alan Muller. 11-15 July 2016.

Keywords: creative writing, speculative fiction, memory and archive, human-non-human animal studies