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Collective Amnesia

Through grief and memory, pain and joy, sex and self-care, Collective Amnesia is a powerful appraisal, reminder and revelation of all that has been forgotten and ignored, both in South African society, and within ourselves.


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This highly-anticipated debut collection from one of the country’s most acclaimed young voices marks a massive shift in South African poetry. Koleka Putuma’s exploration of blackness, womanhood and history in Collective Amnesia is fearless and unwavering. Her incendiary poems demand justice, insist on visibility and offer healing. In them, Putuma explodes the idea of authority in various spaces – academia, religion, politics, relationships – to ask what has been learnt and what must be unlearnt.


Weight 237 g
Dimensions 129 × 198 × 22 mm
Weight 237 g
Dimensions 129 × 198 × 22 mm



South Africa







Publication Date



Koleka Putuma


uHlanga Press

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Editorial Review

"Survival poetry. That’s the best way to describe Koleka Putuma’s debut collection of poetry Collective Amnesia. Reading it broke my heart. Made me cry, laugh, angry and woke me up to some things I didn’t know and reminded me of some other things that I did know. She writes of tenderness with tenderness. Joy with anger, because this is still South Africa and we must still be angry that we have had to hear of joy from other mouths but rarely our own. We are still learning to be the face of and revel in our own expressions of joy."
- Afripop Magazine