The novelist, critic, creative writing professor and founder of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, Bernardine Evaristo, has been honoured with the Best Small Module Award 2017 at the inaugural Teach Brunel Awards in Brunel University, London. In 2014, she had been a finalist for the Brunel University London Inspirational Teacher Award.
This new honour, which is based on student ratings and feedback in Your View, was accorded her for her work in the university’s College of Business, Arts & Social Sciences. Her research areas at the College include contemporary British fiction, international/multi-culture fiction, historical fiction and alternate universe, Afro-diaspora interests, and verse fiction/ experimental fiction.
Bernardine’s teaching and mentoring is something we’re proud of. A staunch, longstanding advocate for the inclusion of artists and writers of colour, the British-Nigerian professor founded The Complete Works in 2008, a mentoring scheme which has since seen her protegees snag major recognition. One, Mona Arshi, won the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Debut Collection, and another, Sarah Howe, won the 2016 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.
In 2012, Bernardine founded the game-changing Brunel International African Poetry Prize, whose inaugural 2013 winner Warsan Shire has since collaborated with Beyonce, and whose partnership with the African Poetry Book Fund Next Generation Series has ensured publication for some of the continent’s rising poetry stars: Safia Elhillo, Inua Ellams, Viola Allo, Amy Lukau, Kayo Chingonyni, Gbenga Adesina, Nick Makoha.
The Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and Fellow of the English Association, Bernadine was made an MBE in 2009 “for being a major voice in the multicultural panorama of multicultural British literature.”
The author of eight fiction books—including The Emperor’s Babe which won the 2000 Arts Council England Writer’s Award and was listed by The Times in their “100 Best Books of the Decade”; Blonde Roots which was nominated for the Orange Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2009; and Mr Loverman which won the 2014 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize—her work has been translated into several languages, adapted into radio plays by BBC, and named Notable Book of the Year thirteen times in British newspapers.
Bernardine has judged a host of prizes, including the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize, the 2012 Caine Prize, and the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Congratulations to Bernardine Evaristo!