‘A pleasure and an education’

Kobus Moolman is one of the finalists for the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.                                               PHOTO: file
Kobus Moolman is one of the finalists for the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. PHOTO: file

PIETERMARITZBURG poet Kobus Moolman is one of the finalists for the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

His work, A Book of Rooms (Deep South), will compete for the prize.

The event is hosted by The African Poetry Book Fund, in partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s literary journal Prairie Schooner - with Gumiguru (Carcanet Press) by Togara Muzanenhamo from Zimbabwe, and South African Joan Metelerkamp’s Now the World Takes These Breaths (Modjaji Books).

Moolman, a University of Kwa- Zulu-Natal academic and playwright, was a finalist in the inaugural Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, for his 2013 collection, Left Over.

He was also the winner of the 2013 Sol Plaatje Europrean Union Award.

Muzanenhamo was recently announced as a finalist for this year’s Artists­ In Residency (Air) programme.

The Glenna Luschei Prize is worth $5 000 (about R75 000), and the winner­ will be announced on January 18.

The Glenna Luschei Prize for African­ Poetry is funded by literary philanthropist and poet Glenna Luschei­, and is the only one of its kind in the world.

Established to promote African poetry­ written in English or in translation, it recognises a significant book published each year by an African poet.

This year’s entries came from Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa.

The quality and diversity of books received provided the judge, South African poet Gabeba Baderoon (The Dream in the Next Body and A Hundred Silences), with a challenging yet enjoyable task.

Baderoon is associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and African studies at Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

Speaking about the award she said: “I read these books and many of the poems again and again.

“They [finalist books] feel thoughtfully shaped, rivetingly intelligent and superbly crafted. I found them a pleasure and an education­ to read.

“Indeed, my horizons were vastly expanded by the extraordinarily well-realised poems in these collections.”

- Estelle Sinkins.

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