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.
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