The Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2016 SHORTLIST Announced


March 2016

The Brunel University African Poetry Prize
in partnership with Commonwealth Writers

This is the fourth year of The Brunel University African Poetry Prize, a major poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The prize is sponsored by Brunel University London and Commonwealth Writers. It is open to African poets worldwide and each poet has to submit 10 poems to be eligible.

The judges this year are the poets, critics and academics: Kwame Dawes, Tsitsi Jaji, John Keene, Helen Yitah, and Chair and founder, Bernardine Evaristo. Out of a record-breaking 900 entries, the judges came up with a shortlist of ten poets, none of whom has yet published a full length poetry book.

Each year the quality of entries improves and this year we felt that ten talented new poets were deserving of a place on the shortlist, instead of the usual six. These are:

Gbenga Adesina (Nigeria); Victoria-Anne Bulley (Ghana); Mary-Alice Daniel (Nigeria);Chekwube O. Danladi (Nigeria); Amy Lukau (Angola); Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (Kenya);Momtaza Mehri (Eritrea/Somalia); Saradha Soobrayen (Mauritius); Warsan Shire(Somalia) and Chimwemwe Undi (Zambia/Zimbabwe/Namibia

The winner will be announced on May 11, 2016.

Previous winners

2013   Warsan Shire (Somalia)
2014   Liyou Libsekal (Ethiopia)
2015   Safia Elhillo (Sudan) & Nick Makoha (Uganda)

The Prize works closely with the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) at the University of Nebraska. The winners and most of the shortlisted poets of the past three years have had poetry pamphlets published with APBF in their ‘New Generation African Poets’ series of box sets, in partnership with the publishers Slappering Hol Press and Akashic Books, USA.

For more more information on the poets and to view their poems:

The poets are available for interview and can be contacted

Brunel University
Brunel University is a public research university located in London, winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for Higher and Further Education. The university has seen phenomenal rises in the recent university ranking guides. In the first Times Higher Education guide to the top 100 universities founded in the last 50 years, Brunel is placed 1st in London, 6th in the UK, and 35th internationally.

Commonwealth Writers
Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, develops and connects writers across the world. It believes that well-told stories can help people make sense of events, engage with others, and take action to bring about change. Responsive and proactive, it is committed to tackling the challenges faced by writers in different regions and working with local and international partners to identify and deliver projects. Its activities take place in Commonwealth countries, but its community is global.


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