Athol Williams has won the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award for his poem Visit at Tea Time. It is Williams’s second win in the annual competition.
His fellow shortlisted poets, Siphokazi Jonas and Charles Marriott, were also acknowledged: Jonas took second place for Mam’Bhele’s Harvest, and Marriott was third for Cape Town.
All three won cash prizes, with Williams also earning a three-week residency at the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind.
A poet and social philosopher from Cape Town, Williams is the chairman of Read to Rise, a youth literacy nongovernmental organisation that he cofounded.
He has published three poetry collections and selected poems by him have been published in anthologies and literary journals in the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa.
He is also the author of the Oaky series of inspirational children’s books.
Williams’s memoir, Pushing Boulders, was published this month.