Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

South Sudanese poet Marial Awendit has won the 2018 Babishai-Niwe Poetry Award, for his poem “38 photographs of depression.” His work, chosen from more than 1,000 submissions, was named winner in a 5 August ceremony at Starlight Hotel, Mbale, Uganda. Awendit, whose poem, “Gaze,” appeared on Brittle Paper in 2016, will now receive $700 and a publication offer for his poetry chapbook.

Founded in 2009 by Uganda’s Beverly Nambozo Nsengiyunva, director of Babishai-Niwe Poetry Foundation, the BN Poetry Award was originally aimed at highlighting poetry by Ugandan women. The first winners were Lilian Akampurira Aujo in 2009, Sophie Brenda Alal in 2010, Sanyu Kisaka in 2011, and Susan Piwang in 2012. After the prize was expanded to consider all African poets, the winners were Tom Jalio in 2014, Adeeko Ibukun in 2015, and Sanya Noel and Moyosore Orimoloye in 2016.

The 2018 judging panel—comprising Malawi’s Alfred Msadala, Uganda’s Rehema Nanfuka, and chaired by Nigeria’s Remi Raj—described Awendit’s work as “potent, highly imaginative and brimming with originality.” Malawi’s Grace Sharra and Uganda’s George Gumikiriza came in second and third places, respectively. Unable to attend, Sharra gave her acceptance speech on video.

“Marial made the trek here from his home in South Sudan,” Emory University professor of English Nathan Suhr-Sytsma, author of Poetry, Print, and the Making of Postcolonial Literature, told us via email. “It was very moving to see him receive the prize.”

The 2018 Babishai Poetry Festival took place from 3-6 August in Kapchorwa, Sipi Falls, and Mbale, all in Uganda—with guests from Botswana, Nigeria, the U.S., Rwanda and Uganda. In 2019, Babishai-Niwe Poetry Foundation will celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Congratulations to Marial Awendit, and to Grace Sharra and George Gumikiriza.

The shortlisted poems can be read HERE.

READ: Sudanese Fiction: 5 Books Recommended by Leila Aboulela

Tags: , , ,

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.

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

Photos | Leila Aboulela Launches New Novel at the Lahore Lit Festival

Leila Aboulela

The seventh annual Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) took place from Feb. 22 to 24 at the Alhamra Arts Center, Mall […]

A Place is Illuminated in and by Absence | Emmanuel Iduma & Kọlá Túbọ̀sún in Conversation

Emmanuel Iduma and Kola Tubosun

Emmanuel Iduma is the author of two books, Farad/A Sound of Things to Come (2012) and A Stranger’s Pose (2018). […]

#PoetryTalk | Different Poems Travel Different Routes | Interview with Toyin Adewale-Gabriel

Toyin Adewale-Gabriel

Toyin Adewale-Gabriel is a Nigerian poet, short story writer, literary critic and activist. She was cofounder and coordinator for several […]

Here is How to Join Netflix and Triggerfish’s All-African Team of Female Writers

Desert 1200 x 630 (1)

You may have heard the news about Netflix picking up Malenga Mulendema’s Mama K’s Team 4, an animation story about […]

Netflix Acquires Mama K’s Team 4, A Futuristic Animation Series Set in Zambia

Desert 1200 x 630

Netflix has acquired rights to stream Mama K’s Team 4. An animation series set in a futuristic Lusaka, the story chronicles […]

Semicolon | Azeeza Adeowu | Fiction

Typewriter 1200 x 630

  Whenever I see a semicolon while reading a book, I remember Hadiza. I remember her eyes and her mind, […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.