Skip to main content
Cover for Windcatcher


New & Selected Poems 1964-2006

Breyten Breytenbach


List Price: 23.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


J. M. Coetzee has described Breyten Breytenbach as "able to descend effortlessly into the Africa of the poetic unconscious and return with the rhythm and the words, the words in the rhythm, that give life." Windcatcher is a collection of Breytenbach's best work in poetry from 1964 to 2006, and includes many poems never before published. There are poems here from Paris in the sixties; poems written in prison, when Breytenbach was jailed in South Africa for seven years for his activities against the apartheid regime; poems of exile from New York in the nineties; poems from Vancouver, from Amsterdam, from Dar es-Salaam. Windcatcher is a remarkable record of a remarkable life and imagination.

it is when night is at its deepest
just before morning that the muezzin calls the faithful
for they are still asleep
and his sad cry drifts over index fingers of minarets
rooftops and lovers and flowers and docks
his sad cry dawns over city
--from "Dar es-Salaam: Harbor of Peace"

Praise For Windcatcher: New & Selected Poems 1964-2006


"The greatest Afrikaner poet of his generation."--The New Yorker

"[Breytenbach] write[s] with a wild heart and an unrelenting eye, and is fueled by the sort of rage that produces great literature." --The Washington Post Book World

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151015320, 192pp.

Publication Date: November 5, 2007

About the Author

BREYTEN BREYTENBACH was born in Bonnievale, South Africa, and divides his time between France, Spain, Senegal, and New York City. He teaches in the Creative Writing Department at New York University.