C.J. (“Jonty”) Driver is a poet, novelist and essayist. For many years a teacher, in Africa, Hong Kong and England, in comprehensive, international and independent schools - he was Principal of Island School, Hong Kong (1978-83), Headmaster of Berkhamsted (1983-9) and Master of Wellington College (1989-2000) - he is now a full-time writer, living in East Sussex, but traveling regularly to his country of birth, South Africa. He was President of the National Union of South African Students, 1963 and 1964, and was held in solitary confinement under Ninety Day Detention by the South African police in 1964. Refused the renewal of his passport while a postgraduate student at Oxford, he became stateless before getting British citizenship, though he remained a prohibited immigrant in South Africa until 1991. He has been an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia since 2007. He was a judge of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007 and again in 2008. He was a research fellow at the University of York in 1976 and more recently has held residencies at the Liguria Study Centre in Bogliasco, at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and at the Hawthornden Writers’ Retreat near Edinburgh. He is a Trustee of the Beit Trust.
He has published five novels (the first four of which were re-issued by Faber Finds in 2010), a biography, a memoir (My Brother & I, KUP, 2013), an essay in autobiography, Used to be Great Friends, Mampoer Shorts, 2013, and seven collections of poems, the most recent Citizen of Elsewhere, Happenstance Press, 2013.