The Bloody Horse By Tanigawa, Katie
The Bloody Horse: Writing and the Arts was a Johannesburg-based magazine that published six issues between 1980 and 1981. The idea for the periodical developed from a conversation among Patrick Cullinan (1933–2011), Lionel Abrahams (1928–2004) and Chris Hope (1944–) during the 1974 Poetry Conference in Cape Town. Although the initial conversation led to the creation of Bateleur Press, the trio, alongside Lawrence Herber, began work on The Bloody Horse in 1979 (Cullinan 86). The founders created the magazine to support the increase in ‘writers willing to stick their necks out and say what has to be said’ (Cullinan 86) amid the growing climate of censorship in South Africa. Many of the contributions were politically charged, reflecting Cullinan’s vision that the magazine would reflect ‘the ways in which the writers of this country are reacting to their society’ (Essa 271). The title, The Bloody Horse, is an allusion to South African poet Roy Campbell’s poem ‘On Some South African Novelists’ and highlights the founders’ belief that literature could play a role in South African political discourse. The first issue of The Bloody Horse was published in 1980, and Ampie Coetzee (1939–) served as the magazine’s editor for the duration of its run.