The Brunel International Poetry Prize will now be awarded as the Evaristo African Poetry Prize, in honor of its founder and administrator Bernardine Evaristo.
Evaristo founded the Brunel Prize in 2013 to discover new and emerging voices from the continent “who might one day become an international presence.” This aim is evident in the stellar achievements of the prize over the years, especially in its quality choice of winners, including Warsan Shire, Theresa Lola, Gbenga Adeshina and Romeo Oriogun, who have gone on to become household names, with groundbreaking strides in the international literary scene.
After nearly a decade of administering the prize, Evaristo will relinquish this position to poet and professor Kwame Dawes, who will equally take on sponsorship of the prize through the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF), which also administers the Sillerman Prize and the Luschei Prize.
Dawes said: “There are a handful of gifted artists who have managed to model exceptional literary citizenship in their leadership, influence, and advocacy for greater openness in the arts, and Bernardine Evaristo represents the best of such individuals. Having this prize named after her honors her, but more than that, it honors the prize.”
The Brunel International African Poetry Prize recently closed its submission window and will announce the winner of the prize in May 2022. The Evaristo African Poetry Prize will begin accepting submissions by African poets in October 2022.
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