NLNG Prize for Literature 2022 Shortlist
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by NLNG to promote and reward excellence in writing worth $100,000 is the most prestigious literary award in Africa. Yearly, it rotates amongst four literary categories of prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.
This year, they received submissions in the poetry genre, a total of 287. Out of that teeming number, only 11 made the longlist and were announced recently.
The 11 longlisted books for the 2022 edition of the NLNG literature prize are Augusta’s Poodle by Ogaga Ifowodo, Coming Undone As Stitches Tighten by Iquo DianaAbasi, Dispossessed by James Eze, Ife Testament by Olusegun Adekoya, Memory and the Call of Waters by S. Su’eddie Agema, Nomad by Romeo Oriogun, The Lilt of The Rebel by Obari Gomba, The Love Canticles by Chijioke Amu Nnadi, Wanderer Cantos by Remi Raji, Yawns and Belches by Joe Ushie, and Your Crib, My Qibla by Saddiq Dzukogi.
On Friday, 26th August, 2022, the chair of the Advisory Board of the NLNG literature prize, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, announced three shortlisted poets whose books made the final cut out of the longlist of 11, for the award.
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Memory and the Call of Water – Su’eddie Vershima Agema
“Human nature is filled with memory of what should or should not have been if only man knew better, hindsight being the mirror of memory. For the poet, memory is the handle he finds for the pain he dredges.
Agema’s Memory and the Call of Waters is finely wrought poetic odyssey that threshes out the intimate contours of memory, deep and enervating. His poetry collection exhumes such vast memory, especially of pain over what could have been avoided.
Agema’s mastery of the poetic idiom is assured, and he takes his reader on a journey into the heart of memory.”
Nomad by Romeo Oriogun
“Oriogun has always lived a nomadic life, which he traces to his mother’s death. He wrote Nomad to mirror the peculiarity of journeys. He traveled through West African cities as he wrote. The book progresses from the emotive, high-wire poems of previous titles. By tempering his language, he emerges as an observer, his eye trained not only on people and events but on places and their solemn histories.”
Your Crib, My Qibla by Saddiq Dzukogi
“In the poetry collectionYour Crib, My Qibla, Dzukogi chronicles the grief of losing a loved one, but of note is how the collection keeps the dead alive through streams of memory and artifacts.
Reading Your Crib, My Qibla indeed feels like being inside a cathedral; sometimes joyful voices rise in praise and worship, other times dirges fill the room, and almost every time, assurance sprinkles forth from the pew about a life that can continue to live, even in death.”
The judges are Professor Sule Egya, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel and Dike Chukwumerije, and among the Advisory Board are Professors Olu Obafemi and Ahmed Yerima.
The judges will announce the winner and outcome of the 2022 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature in October.