Warren Jeremy Rourke is a painter and poet.
Warren attended Potchefstroom Primary; Saxonwold Primary; Meyerton Primary; Sunnyridge Primary; Crystal Park Primary; Brighton Beach Primary; Addington Primary; Wit Deep Primary; and Norwood Primary where he was the school’s Head Boy. He then attended Lawson Brown High; Queen’s College High; and Victoria Park High, at which time, he decided to drop out of school, at the end of Grade 9, to study art at the Erica School of Art, Russell Road College, completing a National Senior Certificate in Art and Design, with distinctions. His paintings have been in exhibitions with the Eastern Province Society of Arts and Culture (EPSAC); the Absa L’Atelier art competition (first regional round); and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum.
In order to position himself for access to university, Warren then completed a correspondence (HG) second National Senior Certificate, through Intec College, receiving matric exemption. Warren was a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) recipient, for ‘a demonstrable life of poverty,’ graduating BA: Media, Communication and Culture, from the Nelson Mandela University (NMU), with majors in English Literature, Contemporary Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, and a partial major in Philosophy. He was, in his final year, awarded distinctions for Modernism and Literature; Postmodernism and Literature; Cultural Studies: Contemporary Society; World Literature Today; his Creative Writing Portfolio; and a year-long Media and Communication Project on HIV/AIDS epidemiological discourse, through a Foucauldian lens. He was, in his final year, also the editor of the first-time collaborative and full colour Arts Journal, Sharp! Warren received the sole-recipient Babette Taute National Honours Scholarship, to continue his studies in English Literature (NMU). He received Honours distinctions in: Theory of Literature; Postmodernism and Textuality; and Contemporary/Comparative Literature.
In 2017, Warren completed his MA: English Language and Literature, from the University of Cape Town (UCT); commencing through the support of a UCT Scholarship and the Twamley Financial Need Bursary, but declining graduation as a conscientious objector. Warren achieved coursework Masters distinctions for: Deconstruction and Aesthetics; Language, Literature and Modernity II; and a year-long Directive Reading Project on the oeuvre of the Nobel Prize winning author, J.M. Coetzee. Warren tutored first year students and held third year seminars, entitled: ‘Make It New’: Innovation and Tradition in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. His minor-dissertation, under the supervision of Arderne Chair in Literature, Prof. John Higgins, was on ‘Authentic Realism,’ entitled: K. Sello Duiker’s Realism: Form, Critique and Floating Kingdoms.
He has been the subeditor of the community newspaper, Iliso Labantu, since 2016, and has at times, also been its cartoonist and editorial writer.
Warren and his life partner (who passed away in 2020), through the patronage of Emeritus Professor of Afrikaans & Dutch Literature (NMU), Helize van Vuuren, taught English in the northeast of Thailand for two years. In late 2019, Warren returned to South Africa to commence the start of the World Arts Agency, as its Commissioning Editor and Senior Agent.
Warren has had his poetry published in New Contrast: The South African Literary Journal and his short fiction published in Botsotso. Warren was recently invited to give a spoken word poetry performance, through Triple C: Creative Confidence Collective, for the Disabled Artists Networking Community in the UK (DANC). He will be the Managing Editor of the new South African based literary journal, the Hotazel Review (forthcoming in May 2021).
Diagnosed BD-1 disabled, Rourke is unapologetically neurodivergent.
Warren’s clients, as literary agent or novel editor, include:
Michèle Betty (Dryad Press), Jude Dibia, Valentin Joseph, Unathi Magubeni, Kobus Moolman, Brad Morris, Zanele Ndlovu, Onyeka Nwelue, Rutendo Nyamuda (Tinzwe Media), Ikenna Chinedu Okeh, Kelly Showker, Linda Ann Strang, Christy Swift, Brian Walter, and Fiona Zerbst.