Dryad Press is an independent South African publisher that seeks to promote and publish South African poetry. 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. Dryad Press is dedicated to unlocking South African voices that present their stories in a fresh light and, in so doing, to nurturing a new generation of South African poets.

Founded in 2016, Dryad Press is a literary collaboration between Michèle Betty and Joan Hambidge. It 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 award-winning collections by accomplished writers such as Prof Tony Ullyatt, Fiona Zerbst, Prof Sally Ann Murray, Beverly Rycroft and Dr Brian Walter, amongst others.


Michèle Betty is the founder of Dryad Press. She was the editor of New Contrast: South African Literary Journal from 2017-2020. She has a BA LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies, both locally and abroad.


Joan Hambidge is a renowned poet, literary critic and public intellectual who teaches Afrikaans and Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town where she holds the Hofmeyr Chair. She is a prolific poet having published over 20 collections of poetry and is the recipient of the Eugène Marais and ATKV prizes.

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