2019 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award longlist announced!
The Jacana Literary Foundation has announced the 67 poems that have been selected for publication in the 9th annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology.
Almost 700 poems were submitted in 10 official South African languages!
The longlist of poems written in a range of South Africa’s official languages has been selected by a panel of six judges. This year, Athol Williams joined Rustum Kozain as co-judge to review the English entries.
Goodenough Mashego, Dr Innocentia Mhlambi, Aubrey Neo Sehlahla and Dr Sponono Mahlangu reviewed the indigenous-language entries, and Pieter Odendaal reviewed the Afrikaans entries.
Head judge Professor Mongane Wally Serote will select from the longlisted poems a shortlist of three poems, determining a winner as well as two runners-up.
The shortlist will be announced at an award ceremony held in Johannesburg.
2019 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award
Vernon Rl Head
Jeannie Wallace Mckeown
Kagiso Mosima Phakane
Siwaphiwe Fortune Shweni
Adonis Muriel Zukiswa
About the judges
Professor Mongane Wally Serote, a Black Consciousness icon, poet and writer born in Sophiatown, is a renowned member of the Soweto poets – a group that advocated for black literary voices in South Africa in 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. The National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver was awarded to him by the presidency for his excellent contribution to literature, with emphasis on his poetry, and for putting his artistic talents at the service of democracy in South Africa. He is the chairman of the Jacana Literary Foundation, has founded several NGOs and sits on advisory boards with the aim to promote matters of arts, culture, indigenous knowledge and African renaissance.
Rustum Kozain is a poet, reviewer, essayist and short fiction writer. He is the winner of the Nelson Mandela Poetry Prize (1989); the Philip Stein Poetry Award (1997) for a poem that appeared in New Contrast (1996); the Ingrid Jonker Prize (2006) and Olive Schreiner Prize (2007) for This Carting Life; the Tomas Pringle Poetry Award (2003); the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English literary work across all genres (2013); and the Olive Schreiner Prize for Poetry once again in 2014 for Groundwork. Groundwork is his latest volume of poetry, published in 2012.
Athol Williams has published four books of poetry and over 100 poems in literary journals worldwide. Among his literary awards are two Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Awards (2015 and 2016) and the 2019 Cultural Affairs Award from the Western Cape Government for his contribution to the literary arts. Athol holds degrees from Oxford, Harvard, MIT, LSE, London Business School and the University of the Witwatersrand, and is currently a senior lecturer at the UCT Graduate School of Business.
Goodenough Mashego is a 360 degrees artist and cultural worker based in Mpumalanga. He has published three volumes of poetry: Journey with Me, Taste of My Vomit, Just Like Space Cookies, and one collection of essays: How to Sink the Black Ball. In 2016 Mashego released his first audio project of an invented genre he terms ‘muse-tree’, titled Just Like Space Cookies–Listening Sessions Volume One. Mashego is co-founder of Mpumalanga’s indigenous language hip-hop label, Lepulana Musik. He has written four films (two for TV). In 2016 his play The Last Show was selected from 200 international entries for the Saving Endangered Species (SES) Prize and was staged in Los Angeles, USA. He is the 2016 winner of the coveted Voice of Heritage Golden Shield Award offered by the National Heritage Council, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. Mashego has edited six literary works and is a literary adjudicator for three national prizes.
Pieter Odendaal is a South African poet, performer, translator and editor. He is currently busy with a practice-led PhD on spoken word poetry in South Africa. He is the director of InZync Poetry, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the growth of performed poetry in all South African languages. His debut Afrikaans poetry collection, asof geen berge ooit hier gewoon het nie (like no mountains ever lived here), was published by Tafelberg in 2018. Odendaal is the co-editor of the multilingual poetry translation anthologies Many Tongues (2013) and ConVerse (2018), both of which aim to promote an awareness of poetry in indigenous South African languages through translation. He is also the poetry editor at Kabaka, a newly formed literary magazine for LGBTIQA+ voices in Africa.
Dr Innocentia Jabulisile Mhlambi is an associate professor in the Department of African Languages at the University of the Witwatersrand. She teaches African-language literatures, black film studies, popular culture, oral literature and visual culture. She is the author of African-language Literatures: Perspectives on isiZulu Fiction and Popular Black Television Series, a timely critical intervention into the aesthetic hiatus in the field. She has published extensively on aesthetics, literature, black opera, popular culture and broadcast and print media in South Africa. She is the recipient of the University of Michigan Presidential Scholars Programme and is currently doing research in black opera in post-1994 South Africa. She is further a recipient of the University Research Council; Carnegie Research Grant; Mellon Grant; University of Michigan Residency Programme; The Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA); African Humanities Programme Postdoc Fellowship; South African National Research Foundation Rating (Rating C2); and two University of Michigan Mellon Foundation Grants.
Aubrey Neo Sehlahla is a graduate in African languages and political studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. Having completes his honours degree in linguistics, he is currently doing his master’s studies in African languages with his focus on film and drama production in African languages. He has been a judge for the 2016/2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, reviewing manuscripts in Xitsonga and Tshivenda. Neo has worked as a freelance structural editor and translator in publishing.
Dr Sponono Katjie Mahlangu is a researcher, educator, part-time lecturer, translator, interpreter, author and editor in isiNdebele. She is the Head of isiNdebele Dictionary Unit housed in the African Languages Department at the University of Pretoria and teaches the following modules at the University of Pretoria for both undergraduate and postgraduate students: translation, semantics, dialectology, lexicography and editing.
For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on firstname.lastname@example.org.