Iyra Maharaj

Iyra Maharaj is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town specialising in palaeobiology. She was born and raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and studied biological sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal before moving to Cape Town for postgraduate research. As a matriculant, she was the recipient of the Francis & Jessica Brett-Young Memorial Prize in 2012 for pupils attaining 90% and higher for the English essay in the English Higher Examination. Since that time she has been writing poetry. Alongside her academic work, Iyra is currently a writer at KREST Publishers working on a collaborative fiction novel. earth-circuit will be her debut poetry collection.



“Can I crawl under a Klimt
and sprain my neck towards you?
Perhaps this is why god put me here,
to stand beneath a maple sky curling
my feet on wood, marching nowhere,
to the gold-leaf sun, with rolling kohl,
high-waist jeans, palmed tangled hair,
and ten peppermint-tea tongues sliding in and out – ”

Iyra Maharaj – ‘Gold Leafing’


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