Poet, anti-apartheid activist Dennis Brutus dies

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Associated Press

Posted on December 26, 2009 at 4:04 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — South African poet and former political prisoner Dennis Brutus has died. He was 85.

Brutus' publisher, Chicago-based Haymarket Books, says the writer died in his sleep at his home in Cape Town on Saturday.

Brutus was an anti-apartheid activist who was jailed at Robben Island with Nelson Mandela in the mid-1960s. His activism led Olympic officials to ban South Africa from competition from 1964 until apartheid ended nearly 30 years later.

Exiled from South Africa in 1966, Brutus later moved to the United States and taught literature and African studies at Northwestern University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the years, he wrote more than a dozen collections of poetry, including two while imprisoned. He is survived by a wife, eight children and many other relatives.

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