Born in 1976, in Cape Town, South Africa, I am a published author, poet and general word junkie. I have always utterly adored words – spoken and written – and have had a torrid affair with language since I can remember.
I self-published a poetry book/ journal called believe more deeply. in April 2018. My poetry has also been featured in print poetry anthologies and on poetry e-zines and websites.
In June 2018, my short story about racial identification as a young girl called “Orange, White and Blue” was published in the Life Righting Collective’s anthology, This is how it is, published by Jacana/ Fanele.
In August 2018, I published my “searing, brutal and breath-taking” (Rehana Rossouw) memoir, We Don’t Talk About It. Ever. (published by MFBooks Jhb/ Jacana) which chronicles my life’s struggles which include childhood sexual abuse, family dysfunction, addiction, struggles in recovery, toxic relationships and mental health concerns. It am, however, ultimately a story of redemption and hope.
In January 2019, I was invited to write book reviews for a United Kingdom-based company, Breakaway Reviewers, who were ranked in the top 500 on Amazon and top 150 on Goodreads, globally.
My essay, “No one Tells You” was selected for inclusion in the anthology, Living While Feminist, curated by Jen Thorpe (NB Publishers) wherein I explore my arduous, awe-inspiring and affirming journey of self-discovery on the road to claiming my innate power as a feminist.
In July 2020, I was awarded the national arts24/ Kwela Books Corona Fiction Competition, with my story of a young girl from the Cape Flats dealing with her father’s alcoholism during Lockdown called ‘Delirium’, beating out over 1200 worthy entrants.
I am a contributing author to an anthology entitled Living While Feminist, edited by Jennifer Thorpe and published by NB Publishers/ Kwela Books in April 2020. My essay discusses my wobbly journey to claiming my own feminism and busts myths around motherhood.
My opinion piece/ essay on the impact of the climate of COVID on young children and how it would affect their future, was published in the corporate annual for Capita (USA), titled, What Now? in December 2020.
In May 2021, I became a contributing author to a non-fiction anthology, Keeping it Under Wraps: Sex, Uncensored, published by KIUW (Switzerland). My short story is an account of an experience of gender-based violence as a drug-addicted sex worker.
In August 2021, I was privileged to be chosen as a contributing author to the anthology, When Secrets Become Stories: Women Speak Out., edited by Sue Nyathi and published by Jonathan Ball. It is a creative non-fiction account of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and how love is informed and conceptualised in one’s formative years.
February 2022 saw me, once again, being selected as a contributing author to the second non-fiction anthology, Keeping It Under wraps: Parenthood, Uncensored, published by KIUW (London); a non-fiction account of the vicious cycle: how mental health issues inform the decision to have children, which in turn aggravates mental health concerns.
I feel compelled to write and to tell my story, so that my truth may, perhaps, resonate with someone in some significant way.
I believe caffeine, chocolate, bacon and cigarettes are the four major food groups.
Review of ‘We Don’t Talk About It. Ever’:
“This weekend I read Desiree-Anne Martin’s brilliantly-written and wrenching memoir, “We Don’t Talk About It. Ever.” almost in one sitting! I highly recommend this memoir about drug addiction and recovery, which left me in tears at the author’s bravery and determination to beat the terrifying disease of addiction. Desiree-Anne writes poetically and with an honesty that sometimes took my breath away. I could not put this book down; yet was forced to at times in order to just breathe and experience and process the emotions the writing brought up for me. Desiree-Anne is also a poet, and this aesthetic comes through clearly in her work. It has the unusual quality of having depth, while being paced quite fast, and I found myself racing towards the end to see how her story ends. Another aspect of this book that I loved is the fine textured depiction of Cape Town during the late 80s and 90s — growing up “Coloured” during that time and issues of class, race and shifting racial identity that the memoir subtly brings into focus. Please go and buy this book and support a compelling new voice!”- Barbara Boswell, respected academic and acclaimed author of the award-winning “Grace, A Novel”.