National Poetry Prize winners 2022


First Prize

Stuart Payne

The winner of the 2022 National Poetry Prize is Stuart Payne! Stuart‘s poem Words for Dia!Kwain blew the judges away and is a worthy winner. Stuart Payne’s first volume, Voices from Another Room, was published in 2018 by Crane River and in 2019 he had two poems commissioned by the AVBOB Poetry Project. He is working on a second book, provisionally called The Sun, the Moon, and Ripe Cucumbers. He’s an editorial assistant at Stanzas magazine and a member of the volunteer team of the Off the Wall poetry group. Read all the prize winning poems in the upcoming New Contrast issue 201 and in The Jack Journal.

Second Prize

Fiona Zerbst

Our first runner up in the National Poetry Prize is Fiona Zerbst. Her wonderful poem House in Kalk Bay won second prize. Fiona has had five volumes of poetry published to date: In Praise of Hotel Rooms (2020), Oleander (2009), Time and Again (2002), the small zone (1995) and Parting Shots (1991). She collaborated with Professor Hendrik Hofmeyr on the libretto for his opera Saartjie, which premiered in 2022 under the direction of Geoffrey Hyland. She is currently working on a new opera. She lives in Cape Town. Congratulations Fiona! Fiona’s poem and all the other prize winners will be published in the upcoming New Contrast issue 201 and in The Jack Journal.


Third Prize

Nicole Thackwray

Our second runner-up is Nicole Thackwray. Her poem The Billboard won third prize. A Gauteng native, Nicole is a writer, teacher, and multidisciplinary artist. She is currently studying towards a postgraduate qualification in visual communication at Open Window. Her big dream is to make South African films, and her big weakness is oversized cups of tea. Her work has been published in Ons Klyntji, and New Contrast, among others. CONGRATULATIONS NICOLE!