Founded in 2016, Dryad Press is a literary collaboration between Michele Betty and Joan Hambidge. It is an independent South African publisher that seeks to promote and publish South African poetry. Dryad Press made its debut in the publishing world in 2017, publishing a poetry collection by award winning writer Beverly Rycroft, a poetry anthology edited by Michèle Betty and Joan Hambidge, and a collection by Michèle Betty that was shortlisted for the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Since then Dryad Press has gone on to publish collections by accomplished writers, Tony Ullyatt, Joan Hambidge, Stephen Symons, Sally Ann Murray and Brian Walter.


Michèle Betty is the editor of New Contrast: South African Literary Journal and the founder of Dryad Press. She started the press after the completion of her MA Degree at the University of Cape Town under the mentorship of Joan Hambidge, at a time when large publishing houses were, for various reasons, showing less inclination to publish English South African poetry. Since then, Dryad Press has become one of the forerunners in the publication of English poetry in South Africa. It is dedicated to nurturing a new generation of South African poets.


Renowned poet, literary critic and academic Joan Hambidge, plays a vital and all-encompassing role in Dryad Press. She is intimately involved in the reading and selection process that ultimately brings Dryad poets to publication. At Dryad Press we publish poetry, which in the words of Roland Barthes searches for “the inalienable meaning of things”. Innovative and exciting poetry that tackles established issues in a fresh way.  Our determinant for publication, is the ability of the literature to defamiliarise. Poetry that surprises, not only in form and technique, but also in its ability to enable us to reflect on our experiences in the world in a new way.


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