Mongane Wally Serote Joins Pablo Neruda, Ted Hughes as Recipient of Golden Wreath Award
Jacana Media is delighted to announce that Dr Mongane Wally Serote has won the prestigious Golden Wreath Award. He joins Léopold Sédar Sengor of Senegal as the only two recipients of this award to come from the African Continent.
The award is given to a world famous poet for contribution to poetry and history. Previous recipients of the award include Pablo Neruda (1972), Ted Hughes (1994), and the Agrarian poet, Seamus Heaney (2001).
The award is bestowed as part of the Struga Poetry Evenings festival held in Macedonia annually. The festival is recognised by the United Nations as one of the most important poetry festivals in the modern world, and a tribute to world poetry. Each annual festival also hosts a symposium with a running theme for discussion. This year’s theme, “Poetry and the mass media”, will provide a platform for approaches to the ambivalent views of the relationships between media and poetry.
Dr Mongane Wally Serote, through his writings and social work, is dedicated to preserving South African history and identity through the expression of the black experience. His first book, Yakhal’inkomo (1972), won the Ingrid Jonker Prize for the best debut volume of poetry in English.
Dr Serote was a loud voice against apartheid as a young poet and member of the Black Consciousness movement and, later, as a commander in the underground armed structures of the liberation movement. His poetry and writings continue to form a mirror to the being of blackness.
This award not only places the South African nation amongst some of the greatest poets and writers in the world, but contributes the South African story to global history. The Golden Wreath Award is bestowed each year as a lifetime achievement in the field of poetry. His latest volume of poetry will also be published at the festival, adding to the 14 volumes of poetry, three plays currently in production, and 4 novels he has authored. Dr Serote’s last novel, Revelations (Jacana Media, 2010), was a national bestseller and his new novel, Rumours, will be published by Jacana Media in 2013.
The Struga Poetry Evenings 2012 will be held from August 23th – 26th, in Struga, Republic of Macedonia. – Philile Ntuli