Eleven writers have been longlisted for the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).
Chairperson of the advisory board for the prize Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo announced the longlist on Friday.
This year’s prize focuses on poetry.
A shortlist of three writers is expected in September and a winner announced in October.
Below are the 11 writers who made the longlist for the Nigeria Prize for Literature which comes with a prize of $100,000 for the eventual winner.
1 Ogaga Ifowodo (Augusta’s Poodle)
Ogaga Ifowodo is a lawyer, scholar, poet, public commentator and human rights activist. He was awarded the 1998 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.
Adimora-Ezeigbo said Ifowodo’s Augusta’s Poodle, “has a distinct feature of deploying oral tradition, memory, and childhood to reflect on the vagaries of life.”
2 IquoDiana Abasi (Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten)
IquoDiana Abasi is a creative writer, performer and social activist. She writes prose, poetry and scripts for radio and screen.
Her first poetry collection Symphony of Becoming was shortlisted for the 2013 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize and the Soyinka Prize for Literature. She is also the author of the widely acclaimed fiction collection Efo Riro and Other Stories.
Speaking about Abasi’s Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten, Adimora-Ezeigbo said “The collection has a strong oral quality and exhibits a seamless transition from performance poetry to print poetry.”
3 James Eze (Dispossessed)
James Eze is a creative writer from Anambra State. His poetry collection Dispossessed won the 2020 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Poetry Prize.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo: “This collection is distinguished by its introspective style with images that build intimacy with the reader.”
4 Segun Adekoya (Ife Testament)
Segun Adekoya is a poet known for the poem ‘After Rain’ and ‘Night Flight’.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo Adekoya’s longlisted book Ife Testament is “distinguished by the scope of its subject matter coupled with brilliant experimentations in form and style.”
5 Su’eddie Vershima Agema (Memory and the Call of Water)
Su’eddie Vershima Agema is a poet, editor and literary administrator. He is a past chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Benue State chapter.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo, in his book Memory and the Call of Water, “there is a consistent use of memory to reflect on life and destiny through the metaphor of water.”
6 Romeo Oriogun (Nomad)
Romeo Oriogun is a peot and essayist. He won the 2017 Brunel University African Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.
Speaking about his book Nomad, Adimora-Ezeigbo said “The collection has a fresh language and a nostalgic engagement with the themes of exile and displacement.”
7 Obari Gomba (The Lilt of the Rebel)
Obari Gomba is a poet and award-winning writer. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo, Gomba’s book The Lilt of the Rabel is “an exceptionally lyrical reflection on diverse social issues.”
8 Chijioke Amu-Nnadi (The Love Canticles)
Chijioke Amu-Nnadi studied mass communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He won the 2002 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Gabriel Okara Prize for poetry.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo, his longlisted book The Love Canticles “exhibits an elevated use of language in its engagement with the powerful theme of love.”
9 Remi Raji (Wanderer Cantos)
Born Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Remi Raji is a Salzburg Fellow and visiting professor and writer to a number of institutions. He has read his poems widely in Africa, Europe and America. In 2005, he served as the Guest Writer to the City of Stockholm, Sweden.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo, his book Wanderer Cantos “engages a medley of public and personal issues, experiments with diverse forms as well as indigenous language.”
10 Joe Ushie (Yawns and Belches)
Joe Ushie is a professor of general stylistics and literary criticism at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
His longlisted collection Yawns and Belches “has a strong social tenor crafted with witticism and fresh metaphors,” Adimora-Ezeigbo said.
11 Saddiq Dzukogi (Your Crib, My Qibla)
Saddiq Dzukogi holds a degree in mass communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was a finalist for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and a recipient of fellowships and grants from the Nebraska Arts Council, Pen America, the Obsidian Foundation and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
According to Adimora-Ezeigbo, his Your Crib, My Qibla “translates tragedy into lyrical poetry with pathos and effortless imagery.”