ELEVEN out of 237 entries submitted for the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literature were on Friday, July 8, unveiled as constituting the Longlist.
“The process continues as a shortlist of three is expected in September and, hopefully, a winner in October,” stated Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, chair of the NPL Advisory Board, which also includes Prof. Olu Bafemi, and Prof. Ahmed Yerima.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, promoted by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, has since 2004 when it was birthed, yearly honours authors in the four genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.
The prize is worth $100,000, and is considered one of the biggest of its kind in the world.
The 2022 edition is on poetry, and it has on its judging panel: Prof. Sule Emmanuel Egya (Chair), Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, and Dike Chukwumerije.
The longlist as unveiled by the statement signed by Adimora-Ezeigbo, 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.
Past winners of the NPL in the various genres 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).