The Botsotso literary journal started in 1996 as a monthly 4 page  insert in the New Nation, an independent anti-apartheid South African weekly and reached over 80,000 people at a time – largely politisized black workers and youth – with a selection of poems, short stories and short essays that reflected the deep changes taking place in the country at that time. Since the closure of the New Nation in 1999, the journal has evolved into a stand-alone compilation featuring the same mix of genres, and with the addition of photo essays and reviews. The Botsotso editorial policy remains committed to creating a mix of voices which highlight the diverse spectrum of South African identities and languages, particularly those that are dedicated to radical expression and examinations of South Africa's complex society.

With over seventy poets represented, this is a bumper edition of the journal and given the number of interesting and accomplished poems received (over the past two years since publication of Botsotso 17), we believed it worthwhile to break from tradition and dedicate this edition wholly to poetry.

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