The longlist for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2022, the richest on the continent, has been announced today, Friday, July 8, 2022.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored annually by oil firm NLNG, was started to honour Nigerian authors in the four genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature in 2004. The prize worth US$100,000 makes it the richest in African letters today. Over the last few years, winners have been Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia (2021), Jude Idada (2019), Soji Cole (2018), Ikeogu Oke (2017), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016), Sam Ukala (2014), Tade Ipadeola (2013), and Chika Unigwe (2012).
The judging panel for 2022 is Prof. Sule Emmanuel Egya (Chairman), Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, and Dike Chukwumerije. The advisory board includes previous winner Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (Chair); Prof. Olu Bafemi, and Prof. Ahmed Yerima.
This year, the prize focus is on poetry and those on the longlist for the award were revealed by Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo earlier today. Selected from 237 entries, the collections including information about them are;
- Augusta’s Poodle, Ogaga Ifowodo – This volume has a distinct feature of deploying oral tradition, memory, and childhood to reflect on the vagaries of life.
- Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten, IquoDiana Abasi – The collection has a strong oral quality and exhibits a seamless transition from performance poetry to print poetry.
- Dispossessed, James Eze – this collection is distinguished by its introspective style with images that build intimacy with the reader.
- Ife Testament, Segun Adekoya – The collection is distinguished by the scope of its subject matter coupled with brilliant experimentations in form and style.
- Memory and the Call of Water, Su’eddie Vershima Agema – In this collection, there is a consistent use of memory to reflect on life and destiny through the metaphor of water.
- Nomad, Romeo Oriogun – The collection has a fresh language and a nostalgic engagement with the themes of exile and displacement.
- The Lilt of the Rebel, Obari Gomba – An exceptionally lyrical reflection on diverse social issues.
- The Love Canticles, Chijioke Amu Nnadi – This volume exhibits an elevated use of language in its engagement with the powerful theme of love.
- Wanderer Cantos, Remi Raji – This book engages a medley of public and personal issues, experiments with diverse forms as well as indigenous language.
- Yawns and Belches, Joe Ushie – This collection has a strong social tenor crafted with witticism and fresh metaphors.
- Your Crib, My Qibla, Saddiq Dzukogi – This volume translates tragedy into lyrical poetry with pathos and effortless imagery.
Prof Adimora-Ezeigbo ended the statement by saying, “The process continues as a shortlist of three is expected in September and, hopefully, a winner in October.”