Today, on the eighth anniversary of André Brink’s death, we pay tribute to his life and work and announce that the Philida Literary Award, established in his memory in 2020, goes to Nathan Trantraal and is awarded to him for an oeuvre of literary excellence.
Nathan Trantraal is the author of three poetry collections – Chokers en Survivors (2013), which won the 2014 AKTV Woordfees Prize and the 2015 Ingrid Jonker Prize; Alles Het Niet Kom Wôd (2017), which won a SALA award in 2019; and Oolog (2020) – as well as a volume of essays, Wit Issie ’n Colour Nie (2018). He translated Jason Reynolds’s Long Way Down into Kaaps (Lang Pad Onnetoe). He writes for television and theatre and has a biweekly column for Rapport called Sypaadjies.
Nathan also illustrated four graphic novels (Stormkaap, Coloureds, Crossroads and All Rise) and has worked as a cartoonist for the Cape Times (The Richenbaums), the Cape Argus (Urban Tribe) and Rapport (Ruthie). His comic art has been exhibited in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Cape Town. He currently works as an illustrator for Vrye Weekblad.
With his partner Ronelda S Kamfer, he worked on a series called “Portraits” for Vrye Weekblad about the ordinary lives of South Africans during the coronavirus pandemic. He is an editor reviewer and freelance book cover designer. His poetry has been translated into English, French and Modern Greek.
Nathan is currently teaching at Rhodes University’s MACW at the School of Languages and Literature, where his focus is Kaaps and the graphic novel.
Nathan Trantraal on accepting the Philida Literary Award: “I am grateful and honoured. My thanks to all the judges.”
2013 Chokers en Survivors
The 2023 Philida Literary Award judges were Sally Partridge, Karina M. Szczurek, Lester Walbrugh and Christy Weyer.