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Friday, August 30, 2019


The shortlist has been announced for the 2019 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award.

From the long list of poems selected by this year’s judging panel for publication of volume 9 of the anthology, Professor Mongane Wally Serote (chair of both the panel and the Jacana Literary Foundation) has selected the three finalists for the 2019 Award.

Serote, the South African Poet Laureate, 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 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.

“…the poems scream and ask: what must done? That question can only be attended to, it can only find answers if the political centre is holding, if the nation is anchored in hope and optimism…” says Mongane Serote

In alphabetical order, the three shortlisted poems are:

Motherhood by Zukiswa Muriel Adonis
Sea Boy by Beatrice Willoughby
The Herbalist by Wesley Rood

How these poems have placed, and the overall winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded (R6,000 for first place, R4,000 for second place and R2,000 for third place) in October 2019.

For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on