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To mark the celebration of June as the LGBTQ Pride Month, the University of Winscosin’s African Studies Program posted on its website an article titled “Celebrating Queer Africa.” The aim of the article is “to highlight the intersections of Africanist scholarship, African art, LGBTQ+ Pride, activism and advocacy on the African continent and throughout its diasporas.” In it are brief highlights of film, art and activism centering on queer people.

In the literature section, the University highlighted the poetry of Nigeria’s Romeo Oriogun and the Somali-Australian Sahro Ali, both of whom were shortlisted for the 2016 Brunel Prize, with Romeo going on to win it. There is also a shout-out to the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction.

Here is what they wrote.

The celebrated Brunel International African Poetry Prize has showcased, for the first time in its short history, the work of queer African poets. This year’s judges say that “the Prize has always wanted to celebrate LGBTQ poetry, which has finally come to the fore with two poets bravely and powerfully exploring openly queer themes.” These two poets are short-listed: Somali-Australian poet Sahro Ali and the 2017 prize winner, Romeo Oriogun, from Nigeria. He was selected for his “beautiful and passionate writing on masculinity and desire in the face of LGBT criminalisation and persecution.” Oriogun is the author of an online poetry chapbook, Burnt Men, and has been published and featured on brittlepaper.com.

Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction is a Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology of “unafraid stories of intimacy, sweat, betrayal and restless confidences.” Queer Africa II is due for publication out of MaThoko Books, a South African publishing imprint committed to sharing the writing of queer African authors.

Congratulations to Romeo and Sahro. It is beautiful to see their work so recognized.

See the full article HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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