POETS In Nigeria (PIN) has announced a longlist of 10 poets for its sixth edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) which opened for submissions on January 15, 2021.
According to the Moderator of NSPP 2021, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the longlisted entries are ‘Shades of Tedium’ by Johnson Onyedikachi Shaquille (University of Nigeria, Nsukka), ‘Reminiscence’ by Oluwasegun Oluseyi Adesina (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), ‘The Sparrow Hawk’ by Ubeke, Mark Eche (Federal University, Wukari), ‘Tank of Liquid Memories’ by Sandra Uche Delumozie (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka), ‘Portrait of Water’ by Samuel A. Adeyemi (Federal University, Lokoja), ‘Neighbourhood’ by Eremika Favour Patarh-Ebere (University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt), ‘A Naira Shy of Rebirth’ by Divine Inyang Titus (University of Uyo, Uyo), ‘The Crazy Bicycle Woman’ by Ezenwa Onugbolu (University of Lagos, Lagos), ‘Binoculars’ by Haruna Abdulmajid (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria), and ‘Stories in the Wind’ by Ebubechukwu Ifenna Udeoba (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli).
According to Oguntoyinbo Shola Phebian, a member of the NSPP 2021 jury that includes Prof. Amanze Akpuda, Dr. Soji Cole and Kukogho Iruesiri Samson: “At this stage, the task of the judges is heightened by the intent to hit the shortlist. Hence, the critical search for unique lines considering such factors as technique: aesthetics in content and form, the musicality of the language, originality, the resourcefulness of free verse or rhymes, structural arrangement, as well as the artistic energy, tone and other core elements required in poetic appraisal.”
On assessing the longlisted entries, winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2018, Cole, remarked thus: “The longlist for this year’s citizen, Nigeria Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) further affirms the reality of a radical shift by Nigeria’s young writers to ‘own’ and ‘texture’ the language of poetry in a manner that is both shocking and absorbing. The voices here are variegated – the most intense being those of angst, revolution, and identity. These are no amateur writers. They arrived on the scene before we got to know them!”
Instituted in 2016 to promote literary excellence amongst Nigerian undergraduates, NSPP has had five grand prize winners – Noah Oladele, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (2016), Bakre Fadil Adedamola, University of Ibadan (2017), Godstime Tamunofiri Iberiyenari, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Yenagoa (2018), Ogugua Micah Okoye, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (2019), and Okwubi Godwin Adah (University of Benin, Benin City).
The prize winners (top three entrants) and consolation prize winners of this current edition will be announced and rewarded with a total cash prize money totalling N400,000 at the NSPP award slated for Friday, October 15, 2021 at the Board Room, Otunba Subomi Balogun Conference Centre, University of Ibadan Hotel, Ibadan. Time is 11.00am.