Founded in 2013 by James King, Anneke Rautenbach, Nick Mulgrew, and Helen Sullivan, Prufrock was a literary journal that aimed to showcase contemporary writing in South Africa. Named after the T.S. Eliot poem “Prufrock,” the journal was in print for five years and published fifteen issues, featuring fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in all of South Africa’s official languages, as well as photography, illustration, and recipes from time to time. Prufrock continued the legacy of other South African literary magazines such as Ophir, Izwi, Wurm, Kol, and Bolt and became known as the foremost magazine for contemporary writing in the country.
Prufrock was established as South Africa’s premier literary magazine, modeled after The New Yorker, with the goal of making exceptional South African writing accessible to a wider audience. It provided a platform for young and emerging African writers to showcase their work, focusing on both short and long-form fiction and non-fiction. The editorial team and contributors worked on the magazine as a passion project and were not compensated for their efforts. Any funding received was directed toward printing costs, distribution, and website development.