About the Book
The annual European Union Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award, now in its fourth year, recognises the life and vision of this highly respected political and social activist. This book anthologies the strongest entries. As Plaatje’s works did in his time, these poems reveal the political and social attitudes of our time. Between these covers are laments and ululations, powerful and resonant. In blank verse and free verse, rhymed lines and prose poems these voices address. The poets have offered their wise eyes and quirky humour, their sensibilities and observations to make of their experience art that is passionate, assiduous, alert and keenly sensitive.
About the Author
Solomon Tshekiso Plaatje (1876-1932), although one of the most significant and visionary leaders this country has known, was only properly recognised years after his death. Leaving school just five years after he continued to educate himself and become a luminary figure in the South African literary, political and intellectual landscape. His many achievements were built on a gifted dedication to language and communication. He excelled as an interpreter and translator, was proficient in at least eight languages, and established himself as a journalist, novelist and, memoirist of substance.
At his funeral in 1932, H.I.E Dhlomo described him as “a great, intelligent leader, a forceful public speaker, sharp witted, quick of thaught, critical; a leading Bantu [African] writer. Versatile, rich, and prolific; a man who by force of character and sharpness of intellect rose to the front rank of leadership notwithstanding the fact that he never entered a secondary school; a real artist, passionate, assiduous, alert, keenly sensitive”.
The jury, comprising distinguished South African poets Johann de Lange, Goodenough Mashego, and Ingrid de Kok, selected 82 poems out of the 303 entries received to be published in this year’s anthology.
Poets included in the 2014 Anthology: Jim Pascual Agustin, Kyle Steven Allan, Adewole Armah , Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, Suzan-Jane Kathleen Bell, Ayanda Billie, Fadwah Booley, Sindiswa Busuka, Zethu Cakata, Ntyatyi Christian, Margaret Clough, Christine Coates, Lise Day, Gail Dendy, Abigail George, Sunelle Geyer, Kerry Hammerton, Vernon R.L. Head, Colleen Higgs, Sandra Hill, Rochelle Jacobs, Thabo Jijana, Justine Joseph, Moses Nzama Khaizen, Gertrude Trudi Makhaya, Katise Mawela, Frank Meintjies, Komiso Mfingo, Andrew Miller, Janine Jocelyn Milne, Jackie Mondi, Nedine Moonsamy, Nick Mulgrew, Eduan Naudé, Pam Newham, Sizakele Nkosi, Lazola Pambo, Thabo Seseane, Francine Simon, Annette Snyckers, Dianne Stewart, Jan Tromp, Susan Woodward, Sithembele Xhengwana.