THE top three entrants of the seventh edition of Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) will be announced and rewarded tomorrow, November 10, 2022 at the Words Rhymes and Rhythm Literary festival tagged ‘Feast of Words.’ Venue is at Eriata heights Event Place, 29 Ajileye Street, Ori-Okuta, Ikorodu, Lagos. NSPP is organised by the Sir Eriata Oribhabor-led Poets In Nigeria (PIN), a leading and consistent platform for nurturing young talents in poetry and other creative endeavours in the country. The highly anticipated ‘Feast of Words’ for budding writers will feature two sessions of poetry performance, dance, panel discussion and book unveiling.
The NSPP, which opened for submissions on January 15, received 538 entries from students representing 94 tertiary institutions and announced the top 50 entries as selected by the judging panel including Prof. Sunny Awhefeada, Iquo DianaAbasi, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson and Oguntoyinbo Shola Phebian in November 2022.
The eight shortlisted poets contending for the top three positions and consolation prizes are Ayoade Olamide of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye for the poem, ‘Metaphor for Cartography’, Raheemah Olawuyi Olabimpe of University of Ilorin for the poem, ‘Where Loneliness Comes From,’ Joseph Peter Akpan of University of Uyo for ‘A Nation in Labour,’ Younglan Talyoung of University of Jos with the poem, ‘Why My Lover’s Room Is Bereft of Brittle Items,’ and Mahbubat Kanyinsola Salahudeen of University of Ibadan with ‘I Really am a Metaphor for Grief.’ Others are Joshua Okon Effiong of University of Calabar with ‘Resurrection,’ Chinualumogu Ofodile Godsent of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with ‘The Voyage,’ and Olowonjoyin Muhammed Sanni of University of Ilorin for the poem, ‘Home as a Threnody.’
According to Luz Maria Lopez, a member of the NSPP 2022 jury that includes Prof. Sunny Awhefeada, Iquo DianaAbasi, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson and Oguntoyinbo Shola Phebian: “Nigerian poetry is powerful and beautiful. It is the voice of the mother nation, the echo of past barbarities, the voice of reconstruction and stories yet to be born. It is the faith in a world that must forcibly lead (to) new ways with social justice, morality and brotherhood.”
Instituted in 2016 to promote literary excellence amongst Nigerian undergraduates, the prize has had six grand prize winners that include Noah Oladele of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (2016), Bakre Fadil Adedamola of University of Ibadan (2017), Godstime Tamunofiri Iberiyenari of Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Yenagoa (2018), Ogugua Micah Okoye of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (2019), Okwubi Godwin Adah of University of Benin, Benin City, and Samuel A. Adeyemi of Federal University, Lokoja (2021).