Shortlist for the 2016 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award and Anthology

27 Sep 2016
Shortlist for the 2016 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award and Anthology

The shortlist for the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and Anthology has been announced. Congratulations to PEN SA member Athol Williams who has been shortlisted for his poem “Visit at Tea Time”. Williams won last year’s award for his poem “Streetclass Diseases”, which can be read here. The other shortlisted poets are Siphokazi Jonas for “Mambhele’s Harvest” and Charles Marriott for “Cape Town”.

Professor Mongane Wally Serote selected the three shortlisted poems from a longlist of 82. The order of the shortlist and the overall winner will be announced at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival on Sunday, 9 October at 11:30 at Sci-Bono in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Congratulations and good luck to Williams!

Press release from Jacana Media:

THE 2016 SOL PLAATJE EUROPEAN UNION POETRY AWARD SHORTLIST

From the longlist of poems selected by this year’s judging panel for publication in volume 6 of the anthology, Professor Mongane Wally Serote (chair of both the panel and the Jacana Literary Foundation) has selected the three finalists for the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award.

Serote, a Black Consciousness icon, poet and writer, is a renowned member of the Soweto poets – a group which advocated for black literary voices in South Africa during the tumultuous 1970s. His poems of that time speak of the realities of apartheid, and have been invaluable in provoking thought about oppression, as well as capturing the truths of the era. Similarly, the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award aims to reveal the political and social attitudes of our time.

“These South African poets have understood something,” says Serote. “They hold the present by the scruff and threaten it. If this nation has not revolted, it is evolving to revolt, the poets say. The present cannot hold, the poets keep saying. Like healers, they sing, beat the drums and dance to the rhythm of their tongues.”

In alphabetical order, the three shortlisted poems are:

  • CAPE TOWN by Charles Marriott
  • MAMBHELE’S HARVEST by Siphokazi Jonas
  • VISIT AT TEA TIME by Athol Williams

How these poems have placed and the overall winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded (R6000 for first place, R4000 for second place and R2000 for third place) at an event at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival on Sunday, 9 October at 11:30. The Litfest will take place at Sci-Bono in Newtown, Johannesburg, on 8 and 9 October. Tickets are R50 a session, with half-price discounts for students and pensioners (R25 a ticket). Tickets will be on sale at the venue on the day. There is a significant nod to South African literary history in the Litfest, marking the 140th anniversary of the birth of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876–1932), the highly respected political and social activist for whom this Award is named.

For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on awards@jacana.co.za.

Ends

(Image courtesy of Jacana Media)

Share