Photo: Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Dr. Odinye in Oxford
FOUNDER-publisher of the Abibiman Publishing, Dr. Onyeka Nwelue, has formally announced the birth of the Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Literature, which takes off in 2023.
In a statement from his Oxford United Kingdom base, Dr Nwelue, said he Akachi Ezigbo Prize was initiated to honour Professor Akachi-Ezigbo, who Nwelue described as “Mother of Modern Nigerian Nigerian Literature.”
“Professor Ezeigbo is author of over 50 books and an educator, whose published work includes novels, poetry, short stories, books for children, essays and journalism. She is the winner of several awards in Nigeria, including the Nigeria Prize for Literature,” said teh statement from Abibiman Publishing,which published Ezigbo’s latest work, A Million Bullets and a Rose.
Professor Ezigbo is currently chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, endowed by the Nigeria LNG.
The new Prize project, said Nwelue, will be in five categories for published works in English:
1. Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Poetry
2. Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Fiction
3. Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Children’s Literature
4. Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Drama
5. Akachi Ezeigbo Prize for Non-Fiction
“It’s very important to celebrate Professor Ezeigbo now that she is here. I grew up, reading her work. I became a university teacher, because of the opportunity she gave to me at 21. This prize will be in 5 categories for published works and the brilliant Dr. Odinye will decide on the direction it will take – to honour Professor Ezeigbo,” stated Nwelue, himself author of 18 books of literature, and founder of the James Currey Festival and the Earl Lovelace Festival.
More details about the Prize will be announced on September 5th, 2022, said Dr Nwelue.
Dr Nwelue also mentioned that the director of the maiden edition of the annual Prize, will be Dr. Ifeoma Ezinne Odinye, a literary critic and lecturer, who is currently, Vice President of the Oxford-based James Currey Society and, a Senior Lecturer in the department of English Language and Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where she graduated with a First Class Honours in 2006.
Dr. Odinye has Master’s degree in Literature in 2014 and Doctorate degree in 2019 from the same department. She studied at Renmin University, Beijing , China in 2008-2009. She has a Master’s degree in Chinese Philosophy from Xiamen University, China in 2012. Her areas of specialization are Creative Writing, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature and Postcolonial Literatures.
Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer on dual appointment in the departments of Chinese Studies and English Language and Literature of the aforementioned university.
She has published articles, poems and novels, with Pain in the Neck (2018) as her debut, and African-China (2019) a sequel to the debut; a collection of poems titled At Sunset (2018), containing the award winning poem “Zion’s Zest” in the 2018 Annual (EWC) Eclectic Writers Community International Poetry Competition. She is currently a member of Creative Literary Giants, Association of Nigerian Authors, Writers and Authors Promotion, Prolific Fiction Writers Community and Author’s Networking Group.