About Peter Merrington
Peter Merrington, born and bred in Cape Town, is affiliated as a professor extraordinaire in the English Department, University of the Western Cape. He has taught literary studies for 25 years, and now offers a range of eight-week courses to the general public. The first of these courses is ‘Image, Faith, Myth and Imagination’, an exploring of poetry in English about Christian faith. He will be offering courses in time to come on creative writing, the nineteenth century, twentieth century literature, and other topics such as aspects of art and architectural history.
He has a PhD on the subject of the Edwardian imagination that set up the first ideas of heritage for the Union of South Africa in 1910, and an MA on the poetry of Thomas Hardy. He majored in English and Classics for his BA at UCT and has also travelled widely on research fellowships, to London, Cambridge, Cairo, Oxford, and the USA.
He is a local preacher in the Methodist church, and was a founding member of the Heritage Council of the Western Cape. He is involved in the Constantia Valley Heritage Association and the Friends of the Constantia Valley Green Belts and is Visiting Fellow at the Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex.
Apart from literary studies, gardening, the outdoors, and his own writing, his hobby is motorcycles. He is the vice-chairman of the Cape Classic Motorcycle Club, and was Motorcyclist of the Year in 2004. He has ridden 15,000 km through eighteen states in the USA and through the Caprivi to the Victoria Falls. He rode with friends across Europe in 2007 and is planning a bike journey to Cairo in 2009.
He has published research articles on literature and heritage, and short stories. Zebra Crossings: Tales from the Shaman’s Record (a collection of short stories) was published by Jacana in 2008. He has twice been awarded the Thomas Pringle Prize of the English Academy of Southern Africa, and has facilitated two Caine Prize winners’ workshops. He is now working on a collection of poems as well as more fiction.