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Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
Poetry Award
 Studied journalism at Rhodes with the hidden desire to be an actor, she took herself to the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. She worked as an actor until she got Bell’s Palsy, which limited her because it affected her looks. She continued to participate in street theatre, was a member of Gauteng Theatresports and went back to university to learn scriptwriting. She worked in scriptwriting for TV for eight years and in 2005, won a mentorship with English poet John Lindley through the British Council/Lancaster University’s distance learning scheme “Crossing Borders.” She wrote Where the children live (a two-hander play) which was the runner up best writer award and won the audience award at the National Festival of Play Readings, before publishing her first collection of poetry Taller than buildings (2006), which was followed by Original Skin (2008), a one-woman play based on her life story. She contributed to the anthology of South African birth stories, Just Keep Breathing, published by Jacana with her story “A thousand births” (2008) and won the Writing Beyond the Fringe/de Buren competition with her short story “The day that Jesus dropped the ball” (2009) in the same year her short story Keeping everything the same was short listed for the Pen Studinski Prize. In 2010 she released her second collection, The everyday wife and co-edited an anthology of African poetry translated into Mandarin, No serenity here. She was editor of the South African contribution to A megaphone, a journal initiated and edited by Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young out of Mills College. Her work is in anthologies and journals from Poui to Edinburgh Review, and the online journals The Canopic Jar, Shine and Incwadi. In 2011 she contributed to Letter to South Africa: poets call the state to order. She edits and coaches writers, and performs poetry, and engages with other trans-racial adoptees in South Africa.

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