Winner of the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union poetry prize
The 41 poems in Bumper Cars do not spare the reader, as a mother might spare a child. They spare the reader the possibility of not experiencing the lives, love, opportunity, disappointment, war and peace that they describe. Athol Williams peels the skin off South Africa and walks us up and around its body, commenting on each protuberance and explaining or questioning its function. An energy pervades this book, a raw, shocking energy. In an age when intellectual robots are in danger of taking over the world of poetry, here’s something hauntingly different, something savage and visceral and human, a cry we cannot ignore.