C.J. ('Jonty') Driver

C.J.(Jonty)Driver has recently completed what he calls a "professional memoir" called provisionally SOME SCHOOLS. At the moment, it is with his agent.


In March 2014, C.J. (Jonty) Driver was invited to be one of the readers at the Mandela Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey, and there read a short passage from the 'Robben Island Bible', i.e. an extract from Julius Caesar which Nelson Mandela had signed and dated in 1977.
On Sunday 2nd November, at the evening service in Westminster Abbey, the Revd Chris Chivers read the whole sequence of poems entitled REQUIEM, first published in 1997, with a cello accompaniment by Brian O'Kane (excerpts from J.S.Bach's 1st Cello Suite).  The poems were printed in the order of service.
On 25th October, Jonty gave a talk/reading at the Boekbedonnerd Festival in "booktown" Richmond in the Karoo, entitled "Home & Exile".
C.J.Driver published four major pieces of literary work in 2013:
* In March, a sequence of twenty-two poems, under the general title of "Before", was published in the South African literary magazine, New Contrast No. 161. Most of the poems were drafted when Driver held a fellowship at the Hawthornden International Writers' Centre in Scotland in 2012.


* In June, the Kingston University Press (KUP) published My Brother & I, one of its series of short biographies, and joint-winner of the anonymous competition organised by the KUP last year. My Brother & I is available from the Legend Press (£6.99 plus postage) or from Amazon.


* In September, Mampoer Shorts published as an e-book Used to be Great Friends, an essay in autobiography, a revised and updated version of an essay published first in Granta in 2002. It is available to download from Amazon or from Mampoer.


* In November, the Happenstance Press published a pamphlet of twenty-four selected poems with the title Citizen of Elsewhere. It may be ordered from Happenstance Press for £5.00 plus £1.00 p&p (less from subscribers to the Happenstance Press).


In 2015, the Crane River Press will be publishing, in London and Cape Town, a short biography by C.J.Driver of John Harris, under the title, THE MAN WITH THE SUITCASE, The Life, Execution and Rehabilitation of a Liberal Terrorist.  Fifty years ago, John Harris was hanged for having placed a bomb in the concourse of Johannesburg station, which caused the death of a bystander and injured horribly others nearby.  Although Harris had warned the police and the press about the bomb, no effort to clear the concourse was made.  Driver has come up with new evidence that the decision not to clear the concourse after the warnig may have been made as deliberate policy.






Sun, then shadows spiraling

across the lawn and into the poppies

as if released by what is barely wind.

Things you said I find I half-remember

but didn’t take the time to note.  

Who cares?

I have a small desire to know better 

what I should have recorded. 

My turn it is to mow the lawn.

You will sit in a deck-chair to watch me.


       (first published in the TLS, March 2015)