Kerry Hammerton has published poetry and prose in various South African and international literary journals and anthologies. Secret Keeper her third poetry collection was published by Modjaji Books in 2018. Her previous collections are The Weather Report (2014) and These are the lies I told you (Modjaji Books 2010).
Some of her poems appear in the anthology Difficult to Explain (2010 Finuala Dowling ed). Other poems appear in the following anthologies: Africa, My Africa (2013 Patricia Schonstein ed); For a Rhino in a Shrinking World (2013 Harry Owen ed); Heart of Africa (2014 Patricia Schonstein ed), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Books 2015), and Cutting Carrots the Wrong Way (Uhlanga Press 2017).
Her prose appears in the following anthologies: The Looking Glass Anthology: Through the Single Gal’s Lens (Poetree Publications 2019) and Living While Feminist (Kwela Books 2020).
Kerry has read her poetry at the Cape Town Book Fair (now called the South African Book Fair), The Franschhoek Literary Festival and the McGregor Poetry Festival. She also ran a Creative Writing weekend for the McGregor Poetry Festival.
Kerry is a part-time lecturer and supervisor for the Masters in Creative Writing at Rhodes University, South Africa.
She is the co-author of the self-help book Sugar Free (Jonathan Ball 2015), Suiker Vry in Afrikaans.
Kerry has an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Rhodes University. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape.
Kerry can be contacted on kerry (at) kerryhammerton (dot) com
The idea of writing down my own poetic statement has intrigued me for awhile. I thought of it as a poetry manifesto, something that answers the question: what is my poetic voice?
My poetic voice arises out of the roles that I play in life: woman, friend, lover, wife, daughter, godmother, aunt, writer, poet, carer, seeker. My poems are about my identity and my experience within these roles.
I mostly write about romantic relationships: falling in love, falling out of love, being in love. I write in a straight forward manner, often with a twist of humour.
At times I wish I could hide behind the artifice of a deceiving and deceptive language, a soft language; but that is not who I am. My language is simple and unerring. I like to step cleanly into a poem and it’s meaning.
I suppose I could also be called a ‘confessional’ poet – writing about my life, my experiences. But not every poem is true. In other words some of the experiences in my poems are fictionalised, imaginary, made-up. I write as the observer – of my own life and of other people’s lives.
I could be described as a lyrical poet, a personal poet – in that my poems are concerned about and involve my thoughts and feelings.
Whatever ‘kind of poet’ I am, whatever genre I fit into, I do know one thing – this urge to write comes from somewhere deep within me.
Found Poems often float to the surface from someone else’s words when I am reading. I can be driving, sitting down with pen and paper in hand, in front of a computer screen, walking – anywhere really and I catch a line, a word, a phrase and a poem starts forming…
Writing Poetry in my Underwear
The goddess muse struck
when I was getting dressed
for a date.
Now I am going to be late.