This is the second year of The Brunel University African Poetry Prize, a major new poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The prize is sponsored by Brunel University and Commonwealth Writers. Last year the prize was won by Somali poet, Warsan Shire, who has since been awarded an American publisher for her poetry, travelled to six countries as a writer, and become the first Young Poet Laureate for London.
The winner will be announced on 12th May 2014.
The judges this year are poets, critics and academics Kwame Dawes, Kadija George, Daljit Nagra, Mpalive Msiska and Chair, Bernardine Evaristo. Out of 579 entries, the judges came up with a shortlist of six poets, none of whom has yet published a full length poetry book.
The shortlisted poets are: Viola Allo from Cameroon; Inua Ellams from Nigeria; Liyou Mesfin Libsekal from Ethiopia; Amy Lukau from Angola; Nick Makoha from Uganda and Vuyelwa Maluleke from South Africa.
Bernardine Evaristo, founder of the prize and Chair of judges says about this year’s poets, ‘The overall quality of entries this year was much higher than our first year and the six shortlisted poets demonstrate a lovely range of voices and styles. We’re also really pleased that the poets represent three of Africa’s regions and that yet again we have an equal gender balance. Last year the prize generated a lot of interest and I feel we are moving towards our goal of putting African poetry on the map.’
Visit the website for more information about the prize & shortlisted poets
The poets and Chair are available for interview and can be contacted via Bernardine Evaristo