Athol Williams wins 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award
October 12, 2016
On 9 October 2016, the award ceremony for the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award was held at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival in Newtown, Johannesburg. Over 600 applications were received this year. It was announced that Athol Williams' poem 'Visit at tea time' won first place. This is the second year in a row that Athol has won the award. Last year, his poem 'Streetclass Diseases' won.
Athol is a South African poet and philosopher who is currently studying Political Theory at Oxford University.
'Visit at tea time' challenges society and highlights South Africa's deep social issues. In this powerful poem, it reveals how society perceives and fears murderers however upon having a conversation with one of the prisoners we are shocked to discover the reason why she killed the man and we feel sympathetic. The poem questions society who is perhaps to blame.
Watch Athol reading his poem 'Visit at tea time'.
Athol won a cash prize and, for the first time this year, a three-week residency at the Nirox Foundation which allows him to focus entirely on his craft (thank you NIROX Foundation). Congratulations to Athol, Siphokazi Jonas ('MamBhele's Harvest' achieved 2nd place) and Charles Marriott ('Cape Town' achieved 3rd place).