Kelwyn Sole

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Kelwayn Sole
BornJohannesburg, South Africa
OccupationPoet, academic
NationalitySouth African
Alma materUniversity of the Witwatersrand, University of London

Kelwyn Sole (born 1951) is a South African poet and academic.

Sole graduated with Honours in English from the University of the Witwatersrand and followed that up with an MA at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Reluctant to return to apartheid South Africa, Sole initially taught in Kanye, Botswana, before returning to South Africa to co-edit the literary journal, Donga. After stints in Windhoek and Johannesburg, where he completed a PhD in on the subject of the South African Black Consciousness Movement of the 1970s, Sole was appointed in 1987 by the University of Cape Town where, as of 2015, he is the Chair of English Literature.

He has published numerous poetry anthologies, and has won a number of literary awards. .[1][2][3]


  • The Blood of Our Silence, Ravan, Johannesburg, 1988
  • Projections in the Past Tense, Ravan, Johannesburg, 1992
  • Love That is Night, Gecko, Durban, 1998
  • Mirror and Water Gazing, Gecko, Durban, 2001
  • Land Dreaming, University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, 2006
  • "Absent Tongues". Hands-On Books, Cape Town, 2012
  • Walking, Falling, Deep South, 2017[4]


  • 2020: DALRO Award (co-winner) for Poetry.
  • 2018: South African Literary Award (SALA) for Poetry
  • 2012: Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry
  • 2001: University of Cape Town (Faculty of Humanities) Merit Award
  • 1999: International Merit Award, Poetry 1999 Competition, Atlanta Review
  • 1998: Thomas Pringle Award for Best Literary Article, English Academy of Southern Africa
  • 1994: Sydney Clouts Prize for Poetry
  • 1991: Hugh MacDiarmid Prize
  • 1989: Olive Schreiner Prize for Poetry


  1. ^ "Kelwyn Sole". University of Cape Town. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Kelwyn Sole". Poetry International. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  3. ^ "About Kelwyn Sole". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  4. ^ Kozain, Rustum (3 July 2017). "A steady vigil over the slow death of the anti-apartheid dream". The Johannesburg Review of Books.