South African poet and comic artist Nathan Trantraal wins the 2023 Philida Literary Award.

The Philida Literary Award is awarded annually to a mid-career writer for an oeuvre of 3-5 books of any genre and celebrates the writer’s consistent record of literary excellence and future pursuits. The winner receives an award certificate and financial compensation sponsored by Karavan Press.

The award was established in 2020 by Karina M. Brink in memory of her late husband and renowned author André Brink, who was always passionate about encouraging future writers. The award is named after Brink’s last published novel Philida (2012), which tells the story of an enslaved woman Philida van de Caab, famous in South Africa’s archives for laying an official complaint against her masters, Francois and Cornelius Brink, distant relatives of the author. The award results are announced annually on the anniversary of Brink’s death, February 6.

Trantraal is an award-winning and multitalented South African writer. He 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). Trantraal has also published a volume of essays, Wit Issie ’n Colour Nie (2018), translated Jason Reynolds’s Long Way Down into Kaaps (Lang Pad Onnetoe), and illustrated four graphic novels (Stormkaap, Coloureds, Crossroads and All Rise).

The 2023 Philida Literary Award judges were Sally Partridge, Karina M. Szczurek, Lester Walbrugh and Christy Weyer. Upon accepting the Philida Literary Award, Trantraal remarked, “I am grateful and honored. My thanks to all the judges.”

Congrats to Trantraal on winning this prestigious award!