Alert! BOOK SA member and Ingrid Jonker Prize chairperson Rustum Kozain has released a statement, on behalf of the prize committee, that addresses the committee’s decision not to award the prize in 2010.
The move has attracted criticism from some quarters, perhaps most stingingly expressed by Joan Hambidge, who called it a “scandal” on Boekeblok last week.
As is made clear in the statement, the hiatus isn’t related to anything like a lack of quality poetry in South Africa, but was agreed to largely for administrative reasons. The two most recent winners of the prize are Megan Hall and Loftus Marais; the statement announces that the next prize will be awarded, for Afrikaans poetry, in September 2011 at Versindaba.
Here’s the committee’s statement in full: