More from that 2008 Comparative Literature interview with my favorite Communist poet, Jeremy Cronin. Bua Komanisi:
… A sense of audience has always been important for me. When I write a poem, or when I go back to an old poem, I try to listen to it with the ear of someone else, perhaps an audience, real or imagined. One audience whose feedback and engagement I have always appreciated is the relatively small circle of fellow South African poets, critics, and academics teaching poetry. But I have also always wanted to write a poetry that is generally accessible to a wider audience.
In this I have not always succeeded, of course. The failing is not just personal; there are many objective challenges. There are, for instance, eleven official languages in South Africa, and while English is the major lingua franca, writing poetry in English is not necessarily an advantage. Afrikaner nationalism, with all of its reactionary tendencies and faults, was centrally a cultural and language-based movement, and poetry was (and still is) cherished amongst a broader Afrikaans-language public. This has never been the case with the often pseudo-cosmopolitan, white, English-speaking community into which I was born. Major English-language South African writers—like the two Nobel laureates, Nadine Gordimer and John Coetzee—tend to be much better known outside of South Africa and tend to write, one suspects, with a European or North American audience in mind. For me, oral performances, particularly in contexts which are not narrowly poetical (a trade union meeting, or a political conference, for instance), have been a very important means for reaching a wider, more diverse audience.
Source: Comparative Literature.