The anthology is a truly democratic as well as creative effort, in keeping with the spirit of the legendary intellectual giant, Sol Plaatje; activist, linguist, translator, novelist, journalist and leader. His 140th birthday anniversary is celebrated on 9 October this year.
The poems offer readers sensibilities, observations and responses to the complex, nuanced and uncomfortable realities of life in our country – past, present and future. Written in Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, isiXhosa and isiZulu and accompanied by English translations where relevant, they reflect the diversity of our nation.
The poems are important. Chair of the judging panel, Professor Mongane Wally Serote, says: “These South African poets have understood something. They hold the present by the scruff and threaten it. If this nation has not revolted, it is evolving to revolt, the poets say. The present cannot hold, the poets keep saying. Like healers, they sing, beat the drums and dance to the rhythm of their tongues.”
ABOUT THE AWARD
Each year the Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) invites South African poets, young and old, debut or previously published, to submit for consideration up to three works in any of the official languages of South Africa. The jury and its chair is comprised of four distinguished South African poets, who are each experts in their language field. Judging blind, they select a longlist of poems for publication in the anthology.
The project is funded by the European Union and supported by the
Mail & Guardian.