Poetry Society Member Theresa Lola has been named as a joint winner of the 6th Brunel International African Poetry Prize, representing Nigeria. Her fellow winners are Hiwot Adilow (Ethiopia), and Momtaza Mehri (Somalia) who was 3rd in this year’s National Poetry Competition.
The prize of £3000 is aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa and sponsored by Brunel University London and the African Poetry Book Fund. It is open to African poets worldwide who have not yet published a full poetry collection. Each poet has to submit 10 poems in order to be eligible.
The shortlisted poets were Gbenga Adeoba (Nigeria); Hiwot Adilow (Ethiopia); Michelle Angwenyi (Kenya); Dalia Elhassan (Sudan); Nour Kamel (Egypt); Theresa Lola (Nigeria); Momtaza Mehri (Sudan); Cheswayo Mphanza (Zambia).
The judges this year were the writers and academics: Malika Booker; Kwame Dawes (University of Nebraska); Diana Evans; Mahtem Shiferraw; and Chair and founder, Bernardine Evaristo (Brunel University London).
The Prize works closely with Kwame Dawes and the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) at the University of Nebraska. All the winners and most of the shortlisted poets of the past five years have had poetry pamphlets published with APBF in their stunning New Generation African Poets series of box sets with Slappering Hol Press and Akashic Books (USA). Some of these poets are also publishing, or about to publish, their first full collections. This is an incredibly exciting time in the development of African poetry. We expect that many of the poets engaged in our impactful poetry initiatives will become the leading African poets of the future. Many of them are still very young, in their twenties, and we expect great things from them, but also those from poets who are older but still relatively new to publishing poetry. African poetry is now staking its claim on the global literary landscape. We are witnessing a quiet revolution.
2013 Warsan Shire (Somalia)
2014 Liyou Libsekal (Ethiopia)
2015 Safia Elhillo (Sudan) & Nick Makoha (Uganda)
2016 Gbenga Adesina (Nigeria) & Chekwube O. Danladi (Nigeria)
2017 Romeo Oriogun (Nigeria)
1 May 2018