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Loud and Yellow Laughter

by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese

Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese’s debut collection of poetry Loud and Yellow Laughter, published by Botsotso, was awarded the 2018 Ingrid Jonker prize for poetry.

Busuku Mathese’s entry was described by one judge as, “completely original: the presentation of family history as a play, in which the narrator is an unreliable character”. The poet was praised for the “the mix of WW2 history, the narrator’s dilemmas about being adopted, and the way she manages to weave these together without ever losing her balance or falling into incongruity”. Another judge highlighted how Busuku-Mathese’s “memoir in the form of a collage […] offers fragments in several voices, some of them ‘reconstructed’. [The collection] “movingly reflects the quest of the ‘The Girl Child,’ as intimate ‘curator’ of family memory and experience, to integrate the surprising puzzle that is her current self”.

The original version of this collection was written as part of the poet’s Master’s thesis in Creative Writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

A collection of 39 pieces, some mystical and elliptical, some seemingly mundane snatches of prose-poetry that retain a poetic intensity, together they create an atmosphere of nostalgia tinged with a subtle yet matter-of-fact sadness. Accompanied by a series of graphic images, made up of old photographic portraits and scenes of natural beauty.


Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese was born in 1990 in Durban. She was awarded second place for the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and won the Ingrid Jonker prize for poetry in 2018.


“This collection is a resounding debut for a poet that will almost certainly develop into one as a standout voice in page poetry.”

  • Alan Muller, BooksLive


ISBN 9780981420585
Pages 74
Dimensions 210 x 148mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2016
Publisher Botsotso Publishing, South Africa
Format Paperback