A quick scroll through our blog's Poetry Corner category is enough to tell you that we at ZODML love verses, odes and limericks of all kinds. That's why we were excited to discover the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, an annual award aimed at "the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa."
Worth £3000, the Prize was established in 2012 by British-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristowho teaches creative writing at Brunel. Speaking about the motivation behind its establishment, she said that
"I have judged several prizes in the past few years, including chairing the Caine Prize for African Fiction in 2012, an award that has revitalised the fortunes of fiction from Africa since its inception in 1999. It became clear to me that poetry from the continent could also do with a prize to draw attention to it and to encourage a new generation of poets who might one day become an international presence. African poets are rarely published in Britain. I hope this prize will introduce exciting new poets to Britain’s poetry editors.’"
The Prize also aims to develop a series of poetry workshops and courses that will take place on the continent to provide technical and creative support to African poets. The Brunel University African Poetry Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Contestants must not yet have had a full-length poetry book published by a publishing house (self-published poets are eligible). The inaugural prize was won by Somali poet Warsan Shire. Submissions for 2014 are open till November 30, 2013, and the winner will be announced on April 28, 2014. Aspiring poets, get details on entering the competition (and info on last year's shortlist) here.