The 2019 Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award & Anthology

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is pleased to announce that submissions for the eighth annual Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award and Anthology will be open from 5 to 31 March 2019. This award and anthology are made possible through ongoing support and partnership with the European Union.

Up to three poems in any of South Africa’s official languages can be submitted via the online entry form below. Entrants are encouraged to submit poems written in their mother tongue. Entries will close at 5 pm on Sunday, 31 March 2019.

The work submitted is judged blind by a panel of four esteemed poets and a chair. As in previous years, a longlist of the best entries received will be published in volume 9 of the anthology. A shortlist of three poets is selected from the longlist, and those finalists will be invited to attend an event where the winner will be announced and cash prizes awarded. 

Named after Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876–1932), the Award recognises the life and vision of this highly respected political and social activist. We always hope that it reveals the political and social attitudes of our time, and reflects the complex, nuanced and uncomfortable truths of life in South Africa, and thus, poems which reflect our current realities are warmly welcomed.

In alphabetical order, the longlisted poets for the 2019 Anthology are:                   

Jayne Bauling                 Zamokuhle Madinana                      Thulani Ntisana

 Michele Betty                  Afikile Madiya                                  Sihle Ntuli

Marike Beyers                   Clare Manicom                                  Zukiswa Pakama

Nicola Brighton                 Ayanda Masango                              Kagiso Mosima Phakane

Christine Coates               Bongani Masilela                              Catherine Pritchard

Sannah Cujane                  Linda Masilela                                   Wesley Roodt

Luthando Dlamini             Motsoaledi Matete                             Moses Seletisha

Chris Ellis                         Tebogo Matshana                            Siwaphiwe Fortune Shweni

Kimberly Flanagan           Mzoli Mavimbela                              Caitlin Spring

Tshepo Gaerupe              Jeannie Wallace Mckeown               Elodi Troskie

Dawn Garisch                    Frank Meintjies                                Thabang Tsolo

Sarah Godsell                   Athini Watu                                     Flow Wellington

Vernon Rl Head                 Janine Milne                                     Stephanie Williams

Miyelani Hlungwani          Zimkitha Mpatheni                            Beatrice Willoughby

Mashimbye Hluvukani      Aaron Mpho                                      Fiona Zerbst

Alice Inggs                         Nwovhe Mushayathoni                    Thandiwe Zhanje

Siphelele Khaphetshu      Kwazi Ndlangisa                                Adonis Muriel Zukiswa

Zandile Khumalo              Abongile Njamela           

Zamokwakhe Kumbe      Zukisani Nongogo           

Sarah Lubala                     Fumane Ntlhabane    


In alphabetical order, the shorlisted poets for the 2019 Award are:      

Zukiswa Muriel Adonis

Wesley Roodt

Beatrice Willoughby

For more information, contact the Jacana Literary Foundation on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Cash prizes are awarded to the shortlist: 

1st place: R6000
2nd place: R4000
3rd place: R2000


• Entries will close at 5 pm on Sunday, 31 March 2019.
• Poems are accepted in the 11 official languages of South Africa.
• Poets may enter in more than one language.
• Entrants must be South African citizens residing in South Africa.
• Poems submitted may not have appeared in any publication, online (including blogs and social media) or in print. Only unpublished poetry is accepted.
• Intertextuality and references must be appropriately attributed and permissions from copyright holders obtained. This includes poems; song lyrics; quotes and excerpts from books, newspapers, magazines, journals; and reproductions of artwork, photographs or other forms.
• A maximum of three poems may be entered, although one or two poems per author is also acceptable.
• If you are entering more than one poem, please ensure that they are each saved and uploaded as separate Word documents.
• Poems must not exceed 100 lines.
• Poems must be submitted as a Word document – doc or docx files. No other file formats are accepted.
• Please ensure that the poet’s name does not appear on the Word document. The Word document should only include the title and poem.
• The file name should be the title of the poem.
• Arial size 11 or Times New Roman size 12 fonts are preferred. No ‘fancy’ fonts, borders or images should be included on the Word document.
• Handwritten entries are not eligible.


By entering, the poet declares that the entry is their original work and neither whole nor part of their poem has been published previously. They give permission for the publication of their poem in the anthology, without payment, if longlisted. Poets agree to have their work translated into English for adjudication and publication purposes.

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