The English Academy of Southern Africa initiated and manages the oldest literary awards in southern Africa: the Thomas Pringle Awards and the Olive Schreiner Prize. We are pleased to announce the following winners:
The Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry is made to Kelwyn Sole for his poem, “Cape Town”, published in New Contrast. The judges praised the telling metaphors, the self-reflective and self-critical quality of the poem, and the combination of a sharp perception of place and nature with precise social criticism. “Cape Town” elegantly explores the shifting combination of delight and aversion, complicity and ethical distance that places ongoing pressure on identities in modern South Africa.
The Thomas Pringle Award for an article on English in Education is awarded to both Aslam Fataar and Charles van Renen. Aslam Fataar’s article, “Youth self-formation and the ‘capacity to aspire’: The itinerant ‘schooled career’ of Fuzile Ali across post-apartheid space” was published in Perspectives in Education. The judges saw the article as “an impressively researched and moving account of a young boy’s fraught schooling career across rural and urban landscapes of South Africa.” His capacity to aspire “can be understood on the basis of his active self-formation”, with languages, literacies and literature “deeply implicated in his journey.” Charles van Renen’s article, “Dahl’s chickens: How do they roost in the 21st century?” was published in the Journal for Language Teaching. It addresses the ongoing appeal of Roald Dahl’s books. The judges describe it as exploring exciting ideas for using such literature “for imaginative engagement and language development in first and additional language classrooms.”
The Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama is awarded to Nicholas Spagnoletti for “London Road”, now published by Junkets Publishers. The panel which reviewed the script describe it as raising a range of abiding human themes which emerge in “the bitter-sweet interaction” between two women, an elderly Jew and a young Nigerian in Sea Point. Their “unlikely friendship” is “presented in a series of brief vignettes, full of poignancy, sadness and startlingly funny humour.” Their “essential humanity emerges as they reveal their own flaws, as they show their compassion for each other, and in their determination to survive.”
Kelwyn Sole, Aslam Fataar and Nicholas Spagnoletti will receive their awards at a ceremony in Cape Town on 15 June 2012. An invitation is attached. On the same occasion, Professor Leonie Viljoen will deliver the annual English Academy Percy Baneshik Lecture. Her topic will be “The Vikings and their Legacy: Fable, Fact and Fiction”. The event will be held in the ABSA Hall on the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Cape Town campus. It will start at 1800. (See invitation below.)
Charles van Renen will receive his award at a ceremony to be organised later in the Eastern Cape.