Moving to Edinburgh

I am moving to Edinburgh from September 2019.

A quick FAQ, from the perspective of the sort of person who F As me these Qs:

1) What is happening to uHlanga?!
uHlanga is staying the same. I’m still publishing poetry books in South Africa, albeit from afar and with a modified publishing schedule. I have very capable people (and over-qualified friends) to handle various tasks that I can’t do from Scotland.

2) Phew, OK. What are you doing there?
Yes, I understand that my movement is not what is important, but rather my tiny poetry press – but thank you for asking anyway. I am moving in order to commence a PhD in English (Writing Practice) at the University of Dundee.

3) I hope it will take you a long time?

4) Are you coming back to SA?
Unfortunately for you, yes.

5) Why Scotland?
Fortunately for me, it’s nice.

The First Law of Sadness wins the 2018 Nadine Gordimer Award


I’m very happy (and rather late) to announce that The First Law of Sadness won the 2018 Nadine Gordimer Award at the 2018 South African Literary Awards. It’s my first award for a book, and it’s very special to me.

Thank you to the Department of Arts and Culture and the wRite Associates for the honour, en veels geluk om Nicole Jaekel Strauss, wie ook het die toekenning gewen, vir haar bundel As in die mond. (And apologies to everyone for my awful Afrikaans.)

biography at the ICA Live Art Festival 2018


I'm pleased to announce that I will be performing a souped-up, two-guitar version of my performance poem biography as part of the ICA Live Art Festival this year.

As the blurb states:

biography is a long poem written and performed by Nick Mulgrew, accompanied by live guitar music and noise. The poem is a multi-fragment exploration of genealogy and metatext in the life of the author, exploding the concept of the “author’s biography,” and stands distinctly apart from his other poetic and literary output.

The performance takes place at the P4 Studio at the University of Cape Town's Hiddingh Campus on Saturday 15 September at 1630.

The performance will also be accompanied by a limited-edition pamphlet of photographs, which all attendees receive for free.

Tickets are FREE, but limited. To book yours, mail the ICA below at the following details:

RSVP at:
Subject Line: ICA Live Art Festival 2018
Include name, title of the performance(s), contact telephone and number of tickets

Shortlisted for the Nadine Gordimer Award


I am very happy that my debut fiction book Stations was shortlisted for the 2017 Nadine Gordimer Award at the South African Literary Awards.

I'm disappointed that I did not win, but I would like to congratulate Roela Hattingh for winning with her collection Kamee, and I would like to thank my friend Mohale Mashigo for standing in for me at the ceremony.

Thanks to the Department of Arts & Culture and the wRite Associates for the honour.

Announcing: Stations


I'm excessively proud to announce the release of my next book: Stations, a conceptual collection of short fiction, forthcoming from David Philip Publishers in March 2016.

The blurb goes:

In his debut collection of award-winning stories, Nick Mulgrew tells fourteen subtly interlinked tales set along the Southern African coastline from Cape Town to Mozambique, in which relationships, dreams and even narrators die; where fields catch fire, towers implode, and the shadows of the past grow long. But even from the most uneasy corners – tourist traps, colonial purgatories and libraries for the blind – these stories offer small mercies: glimpses of faith, beauty and the possibility of salvation, no matter how slight.

Told with a magpie’s eye for the vivid in the ordinary, and the surreal in the everyday, Stations presents a fresh, compelling and essential new voice.

With a cover designed by Louis de Villiers and illustration by skullboy (two sides of the same man, really), Stations is the culmination of seven years of short fiction writing, and, for me, the real beginning of my career.

(The full cover is so jarring, too, that my own mother told me I should "say a hundred Our Fathers".)

Being able to work with a historied, independent house like David Philip means that I've been able to bring out my vision of what collections of short fiction should be: coherent, thematically consistent, exciting in both form and format, and pleasurable to read. No other publishing house would ever give me such creative freedom – whether that turns out to be a blessing or not will be found out soon.

Stations includes a number of award-winning and almost-award-winning stories, including "Turning", the winner of the 2014 National Arts Festival short story award, and "Posman" a 2015 shortlistee for the White Review Prize in the U.K. & Ireland. The collection also features a handful of brand-new stories.

But, frankly, buy it only for my description of Cecil John Rhodes being stoned to near-death in Purgatory.