Author returns to where inspiration first struck

Ex-Toti teacher, Celia Claase with her second book entitled 'The Layers Between' she donated to Amanzimtoti library. She is seen with chief librarian, Slie Mosia.

Ex-Toti teacher, writer, photographer and visual artist, Celia Claase, donated copies of her book ‘The Layers Between’ to Toti libraries during a recent visit to South Africa.

Celia lived in Toti for 25 years before moving to Hong Kong in 2008 with her husband and two daughters.

She works as an ESL teacher and in her free time she writes and paints oil paintings. Her art has been exhibited and sold in South Africa and Hong Kong.

The Afrikaans magazine Sarie featured her memoirs for several months and she has had poetry published in literary journals such as Imprint and Writers Abroad, Rhodes University’s journal New Coin, the South African e-journal LitNet, in international and Hong Kong-based anthologies and on websites.

She has just completed her second book ‘The Tipping Point’ which consists of a section of poetry and 12 ‘fantasophical’ stories.

‘The Layers Between’ won the 2014 international proverse, literature and publishing prizes. It was published by Proverse Press in Hong Kong and Celia donated copies to libraries in Pretoria, Cape Town, Warner Beach and Toti.

“I recall many inspiring hours spent in Amanzimtoti and Warner Beach libraries where my dream of becoming an author was sparked,” said Celia.

“Reading poetry made me write poetry. I was always charmed by the magic in words. How just a few simple words stringed together in an unusual order can evoke emotion, stir imagination and give meaning.

I am fascinated by the workings of nature and the human mind. I write poems and essays about physical and metaphysical phenomena in the hope of finding answers to timeless questions and perhaps making new discoveries in the process.

Every poem I have ever written has changed my perception of the world, because they helped me to look at the world from many different angles.

During our visit to Toti it was refreshing to see all the new developments, especially Galleria Mall. I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly service we received wherever we went. It was lovely spending some time in all the familiar spaces in Toti that were part of our lives for so many years.

I miss the times spent with my crazy friends in Toti, Thursday evening night markets, book club evenings, impromptu Friday evening braais at Warner Beach, visits to the library, shopping for plants at the nurseries, the annual sardine run, fresh shad, the winter months, the angry waves and thunderstorms, and living only a two hour drive from the Drakensberg.”

‘The Layers Between’ can be borrowed from Amanzimtoti and Warner Beach libraries. Readers are invited to follow the global journey of this book on the Facebook page with the same title, or visit or

Earl Baillache

Latest News


Next Story x
Acclaimed artist to bring oil painting into focus for USCAA