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Keith Gottschalk is a South African poet, known for his anti-apartheid poetry. He was born on the 14 March 1946 in Cape Town, where he still lives. He studied at the University of Cape Town 1964-70, where he was a tutor and junior lecturer to 1983.
Keith Gottschalk's poetry is political, and its appearance at cultural festival and mass rallies of the mass democratic movement attests to its massive success as political poetry. He is a performing poet, whose work needs to be heard as well as read.
He has given over one hundred performances of his poems, and also had over one hundred poems published in magazines such as New Coin, New Contrast, Phoebe, Staffrider and Agenda. His first collection was Emergency Poems.
In his introduction to Emergency Poems Peter Horn described Gottschalk's contribution as follows: "wit and conceit also seem to me to describe most adequately the poetic and aesthetic vehicles which Gottschalk chooses to address the political in poetry. Often, when critics address poetry like Gottschalk's they use the term satire, this most misplaced and displaced genre in English poetry. What is central to satire and to wit is not, as popular misconception may have it, its comic quality, the funniness, but the sudden flashlike insight into the incongruous, as Freud has clearly shown in his study on the Witz. He was praised for his poems' "tight control and their strategy of irony." His modernisation of the traditional African praise poem "shows their continued existence and meaning for large portions of the population."
He served as the chair of the Cape Centre of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa from 2005 to 2006. He is also a member of the British Interplanetary Society and the South African Space Association.
- Alvarez-Pereyre, Jacques: The Poetry of Commitment in South Africa. 1983
- Peter Horn, "Written Poetry for Performance. (Jeremy Cronin, Keith Gottschalk)." In: Nethersole, Reingard (Hg.): Emerging Literatures. Jo-Fo Johannesburg Forum: Contributions to Literary Studies I Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York: Peter Lang (1990) S.171-181 Also in: Peter Horn: Writing my Reading. Essays on Literary Politics in South Africa. Amsterdam/Atlanta : Rodopi Press 1994 [recte: 1995] (= Cross/Cultures - Readings in Post/Colonial Literatures in English 15), 172 pp.
- "Emergency Poems", Bellville, Mayibuye & Snailpress. 1992.
- Keith Gottschalk's contribution to the culture of the people: The 'wit' of popular poetry and the 'conceit' of the 'learned' poet." In: "Emergency Poems."
- Peter Horn, "Travelling Theory in Trouble", Pretexts, 10, 1. (2001): 134f. See also Evelyn Holzhausen in UWC Perspectives, 1,2 (1992): 34-35; Steve Kromberg in Review/Books Supplement to the Weekly Mail, 29 January - 4 February 1993: 6; Peter Strauss in South African Literary Review 2, (November–December 1992): 17-18; Frank Wilderson in New Coin, 29,1 (1993):71-73
- "Keith Gottschalk". UCT. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
- Adey, David; Ridley Beeton; Michael Chapman; Ernest Pereira (1986). Companion to South African English Literature. Johannesburg: A.D.Donker.
- Alvarez-Pereyre, Jacques (1983). The Poetry of Commitment in South Africa.
- Chapman, Michael (1984). South African English Poetry. A Modern Perspective. A.D.Donker.
- Horn, Peter (1994). Writing my Reading. Essays on Literary Politics in South Africa. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi Press.
- GOTTSCHALK, Keith (1984). Inside. Jeremy Cronin (Ravan, Johannesburg 1983). Critical Arts: A Journal for Media Studies, 3.2 : 54.: A.D.Donker.