The 2022 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), got underway last Thursday with 287 poets competing for the $100,000 Prize.
The entries received for the prize, now in its 18th year, were handed over to the judging panel by the Chair of the Prize’s Advisory Board, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo. The other members are Professors Olu Obafemi and Ahmed Yerima
The Advisory Board also handed over 87 entries for the NLNG’s Prize for Literary Criticism to the three-person panel comprising Professor Sule Egya, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel and Dike Chukwumerijie.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, NLNG’s General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Andy Odeh, said some significant strides have been recorded in the Nigeria Prizes.
He said NLNG recently launched the website – www.thenigeriaprizes.org –a one-point information hub for the Prizes.
“This site served as the submission portal for entries received this year. This new gateway aims to make information about the Prizes, process, governance, and winning works and winners readily available to the public. Also, based on feedback from various stakeholders, this year, the Advisory Board appointed two practitioners judges not from core academia. But be assured that their credentials are solid and speak to their craft and contributions to the Literary World,” he added.
In her remarks, Professor Adimora-Ezeigbo urged the judges to use the opportunity to put literature on a pedestal and make it an enabler of development in the country.
A professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Professor Egya is a poet and novelist who writes under the pen name E. E. Sule. He has written over one hundred scholarly articles and literary essays.
Poet and narrator, Adewale-Gabriel has worked as a literary critic in The Guardian, Post Express and The Daily Times. She is often described as “the most beautiful and outstanding voice of the new African poetry.”
Chukwumerije is a spoken word and performance poetry artist and an award-winning author. He has published several books and is the brain behind Night of the Spoken Word, a live Poetry show and a theatre production, Made in Nigeria Poetry Show.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary categories: prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature. The 2022 edition will be awarded for prose