11 Poets Make Long List of NLNG’s $100,000 Literature Prize

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The Advisory Council for The Nigerian Prize for Literature on Friday approved the publication of the Longlist of the 11 in the running for the 2022 edition.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigeria LNG to promote and reward excellence in writing, rotates annually between four literary categories of prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.

The 11 books in the long list released on Friday, in alphabetical order by title, are Augusta’s Poodle by Ogaga Ifowodo, Coming Undone As Stitches, Tighten by Iquo DianaAbasi, Dispossessed by James Eze, Ife Testament by Olusegun Adekoya and Memory and the Call of Waters by S. Su’eddie Agema.

Others are Nomad by Romeo Oriogun, The Lilt of The Rebel by Obari Gomba, The Love Canticles by Chijioke Amu Nnadi, Wanderer Cantos by Remi Raji, and Yawns and Belches by Joe Ushie.

The 2022 edition of the Nigeria Prize for Literature initially had 287 poets competing for the $100,000 prize.

During the online announcement, the received nominations were handed over to the jury by the Chairman of the Prize Advisory Board, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo.

Adimora-Ezeigbo noted that the process will continue as “a shortlist of three is expected in September and hopefully a winner in October.”

Author and Professor of Law at Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, won the 2021 award with his novel, Son of the House.

Judges

Sule Egya, professor, leads the jury. Professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Prof. Egya is a renowned poet and novelist who writes under the pseudonym EE Sule.

Mr. Egya has written over a hundred scientific articles and literary essays. Her first novel, Sterile Sky, won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for the Africa region. Her volumes of poetry include What the Sea Told Me, which won the 2009 ANA/Gabriel Okara Prize.

The other judges are Toyin Adewale-Gabriel and Dike Chukwumerije. Adewale-Gabriel is a poet and narrator. She has worked as a literary critic in The Guardian, Post Express and The Daily Times. She is often described as “the most beautiful and remarkable voice of new African poetry”.

Dike Chukwumerije is a Nigerian spoken word and performative poetry artist and an award-winning author.

He has published several books and is the mastermind behind Night of the Spoken Word, a live poetry show and theater production, Made in Nigeria Poetry Show. He also won the 2013 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) award for prose fiction.

The other members of the advisory board are Professors Olu Obafemi and Ahmed Yérima.


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