Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

TJ Dema. Image from TJDema.com.

The 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets has been awarded to Botswana’s Tjawangwa (TJ) Dema, for her collection, The Careless Seamstress. In addition to receiving the $1000 prize money, Dema’s manuscript will be published in the spring of 2019 as part of the African Poetry Book Series by the University of Nebraska Press. The finalists are: Nawal Nader-French (Ghana/US), for A Hemmed RemnantLogan February (Nigeria), for Mannequin in the NudeThabile (Ashley) Makue (South Africa), for ‘mamasekoRasaq Malik Gbolahan (Nigeria), for Do Not Bury Me in this Land; and Brunel Prize 2017 winner Romeo Oriogun (Nigeria), for My Body Is No Miracle.

Backed by the philanthropists Laura and Robert FX Sillerman—as part of their overall funding of the African Poetry Book Fund—the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets honours the finest first full-length poetry manuscript by an African. The prize is judged by the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund: Chris Abani, Gabeba Baderoon, Bernardine Evaristo, Aracelis Girmay, John Keene, Matthew Shenoda, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, with the Fund’s Director Kwame Dawes, editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner

Also an arts administrator and teaching artist, TJ Dema has an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University. Her chapbook, Mandible, was published as part of Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in the Cordite Poetry ReviewElsewhere Lit, the New Orleans Review, and the anthology Read Women. A recipient of fellowships from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Danish Arts Council/Foundation, she was a 2016 Artist-in-Residence in the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University.

The Sillerman First Book Prize has previously been awarded to: Kenya’s Clifton Gachagua in 2013, for Madman at Kilifi; Somalia’s Ladan Osman in 2014, for The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony; Ethiopian-Eritrean Mahtem Shiferraw in 2015, for Fuchsia; Sudan’s Safia Elhillo in 2016, for The January Children; and Zimbabwe’s Bernard Matambo in 2017, for Stray.

Congratulations to TJ Dema. Congratulations, also, to the finalists: Nawal Nader-French, Thabile (Ashley) Makue, Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, and particularly Romeo Oriogun and Logan February, both of whom we have published.

Tags: , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction 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 Curator at 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 work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. 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 has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Laila Lalami’s Forthcoming Memoir Conditional Citizens Recounts Her Journey from Moroccan Immigrant to U.S. Citizen

EORh13JU8AEElAk

Moroccan-American author Laila Lalami has a new book forthcoming on April 28, 2020 from Pantheon Books. Titled Conditional Citizens, the […]

Neighbors (A Quarantine-Themed Fiction) | E. C. Osondu

christian-stahl-8S96OpxSlvg-unsplash

My neighbor Vinny Capriani is a great neighbor. I’m happy to have him as one. I live in a state […]

Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim Longlisted for the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novel Award

Untitled design - 2020-03-25T235109.687

Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim are both on the longlist of the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novel Award. The annual […]

Credo Mutwa, Celebrated South African Healer and Author, Dies at 98

Untitled design (2)

Credo Mutwa, celebrated South African traditional healer and author of several books, died following a period of ill health on […]

What We Are Reading This Week | A Feminist Guide to Living and Thinking Sensuously

Untitled design - 2020-03-25T095936.723

In the final week of women’s history month, we are celebrating a writer whose work has inspired us for years. […]

Midas & The Prodigal Daughter | Isabelle Baafi | Two Poems

keila-hotzel-R8tIWN5616g-unsplash (1)

Midas the legend was not always true there was a time when empires were built on dreams and prophesies and […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.