Poet Ikeogu Oke is the winner of the Nigerian Prize for Literature 2017, the richest in African literature worth US$100,000 for his book The Heresiad.
The richest prize in African literature worth US$100,000 to its winner has announced the winner for this year’s edition after a longlist and a shortlist of Ogaga Ifowodo, Tanure Ojaide, and Ikeogu Oke were announced earlier in the year.
The prize rotates among four genres – Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Children’s literature. The most recent prize was in fiction and that prize went to Abubakar Adam Ibrahim who was feted for his book Seasons of Crimson Blossoms. Other previous winners of this prize in the different genres include Sam Ukala for his book Iredi War in 2014, Chika Unigwe for On Black Sisters’ Street in 2012, and Adeleke Adeyemi (Mai Nasara) for The Missing Clock in 2011. Other winners were Esiaba Irobi for Cemetery Road in 2010, Kaine Agary for Yellow Yellow in 2008, and Ahmed Yerima for Hard Ground in 2006.
The last winner in the poetry was Tade Ipadeola for his collection The Sahara Testaments and this year we would be getting to know the new best poet. That honour would go to Ikeogu Oke for his collection The Heresiad, published by Kraft Books which employs the epic form in questioning power and freedom. The poet studied at the Universities of Ibadan and Nigeria. His creative works include Salutes Without Guns, The Tortoise and the Princess, The Lion and the Monkey, In the Wings of Waiting and Where I was Born.