04/05/2018 / South African Book Fair

Poetry is undergoing a revival the world over. In this country, it has become the expression of a people who tell stories through song and through the vernacular. The poets of our time are fresh, vibrant and accomplished, and they made their stamp at the Fair in 2017.

This year, the SABDC is honoured to have received permission from the Kgositsile family to name this key feature of the Fair after South Africa’s National Poet Laureate.

Keorapetse Kgositsile (or ‘Bra Willie’, the pen name by which he was usually and affectionately referred to), was a giant of South Africa’s liberation struggle. He was a celebrated arts intellectual who wielded a sharp and progressive pen throughout his life, and was highly regarded both internationally and at home. Bra Willie won several literary awards in his lifetime, including the Herman Charles Bosman Prize and the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver). He was honoured with the South African Poet Laureate Prize in 2006 and also won the Harlem Cultural Council Poetry Award in America while in exile there. He died in Johannesburg on 3 January 2018.