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Ten poets have been named on the 2017 shortlist of Brunel University’s International African Poetry Prize. The announcement was made in a statement published on the official website of the prize.

The £3,000 prize, co-sponsored by Commonwealth Writers, is in its fifth year and is “aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa.” It is open to poets yet to publish a full book.

Here are the shortlisted ten.

The prize was won by Somalia’s Warsan Shire in 2013, Ethiopia’s Liyou Libsekal in 2014, Sudan’s Safia Elhillo and Uganda’s Nick Makoha in 2015, and Nigeria’s Gbenga Adesina and Chekwube O. Danladi in 2016.

There are two returnees on this year’s shortlist. Nick Makoha was a co-winner in 2015, and Kayo Chingonyi was shortlisted in 2013. Safia Elhillo, a co-winner in 2015, also returns, but as a judge. She’ll be overseeing the selection process alongside Chris Abani, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Jabbeh Welsley, and Bernardine Evaristo, who is the Chair and founder of the prize.

We are beyond delighted to call your attention to the fact that two of the shortlisted poets are Brittle Paper poets. In June 2016, we published Romeo Oriogun’s heartbreakingly beautiful poem, “Metamorphosis,” a powerful exploration of LGBT life, love and experience. And last month, we published another of his poems, “Portrait of a Dead Artist,” as well as one by Saddiq Dzukogi titled “Collect Rainwater.”

As Brittle Paper poets recognized by the Brunel poetry prize, Dzukogi and Oriogun join the fine company of Gbenga Adesina. We published one of Adesina’s poems in 2014. He went on to win the Brunel Prize in 2016. Last year, one of his poems was published in the New York Times. [read here if you missed it]

It fills our hearts with pride and joy to see writers featured on our platform go on to do amazing things with their work. Congrats to Dzukogi and Oriogun! We are rooting for them with all our hearts.

 

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Post image from Brunel University Website.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young

Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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