Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo

The Brunel African Poetry Prize 2017 is now open for entries. Original poems are welcome from all Africans.

The Brunel African Poetry Prize is a major annual poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. Now in its fourth year, this year the Prize is sponsored by Brunel University and Commonwealth Writers. Previous winners of the award include Warsan Shire (2013), Liyou Lisekal (2014), Safia Elhillo and Nick Makoha (2015), Chekwube O Danladi and Gbenga Adesina (2016).

The judges for this year’s edition of the prize include British-Nigerian writer, Bernardine Evaristo, who is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London who initiated the award in 2012. She is joined by Chris Abani, Kwame Dawes, previous winner Safia Elhillo, and Patricia Jabbeh Welsley.

Bernardine Evaristo describes her reasons for a new prize devoted exclusively to African poetry:  ‘I had judged several literary prizes including chairing the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2012, an award that continues to revitalise the fortunes of fiction from Africa since its inception in 1999. It became clear to me that poetry from the continent could also do with a prize to draw attention to it and to encourage a new generation of poets who might one day become an international presence. African poets are rarely published in Britain. I hope this prize will introduce exciting new poets to the world’s poetry editors.’ 

The Prize works closely with the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) and since its inception, most of the poets who have been nominated and/or won this award have published chapbooks with the African Poetry Book Fund series of ‘New Generation Chapbook Box Sets’.  http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/.

The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize.

If this is your cup of tea, please click here for details; you have until 1st Dec 2016. We encourage that you enter ORIGINAL poems people! (It still hurts)