Throughout the year 2022 — a lot has happened in the Nigerian creative industry, especially in the aspect of poetry — looking at the teeming number of teenagers and youths emerging and putting out quality and amazing works of art.
The best thing that happened in 2022 to the contemporary Nigerian poetry space is the recognition it has gotten from the government, non-profit organizations, marketing, and advertising brands, and the media, where it is being used as a tool for advocacy and social change, also as a medium to pass information and sell out products to customers. Imagine how relevant this has made poetry become.
With this, one might say that poetry is taking over the space and can now be used to do many good things that are capable of influencing and organizing better communities.
In the new trend, some literary organizations including Hill-top Creative Arts Foundation, Poetic Wednesdays, and numerous others — are also tapping into the light — giving young people a platform and opportunities to master and promote their crafts, which could make them competitive within the African literary space.
Meanwhile, many poetry competitions have been recorded in Nigeria, other parts of Africa, and the world. It has built the Nigerian poets a good profile as they keep clinching prizes — bringing it back home.
Here we can list a few poets who have stood out — winning amazing and well-reputable prizes at home and abroad.
Romeo Oriogun’s collection of poems, which is titled ‘Nomad’ won him the 2022 NLNG Prize for Literature.The prize which is sponsored by Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) seeks to promote and reward excellence in writing with an awesome prize of $100,000.Oriogun was declared the winner at a ceremony held at Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos on Friday, 14 Dec 2022.
Dr. Saddiq Dzukogi, a native of Nigeria living in the US, through his collection “Your Crib, My Qibla” won the third annual Derek Walcott Prize for poetry.The award is usually presented to a living poet who is not a U.S. citizen for a full-length book of poems published in the previous year. “It is an immense honor for my name to be associated with Derek Walcott in any way or form,” Dr. Dzukogi said. “I feel so seen and in this way, the memory and name of my daughter, who the book immortalizes, persists. I hope I can use this recognition as a door to something even greater.”
Su’eddie Vershima Agema
Su’eddie Agema, the managing editor for Konya Shams Rumi, also through his collection, “Memory and the Call of Waters,” won the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Poetry Prize for 2022.However, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Prizes is one of the country’s most respected and prestigious awards drawing hundreds of entries in different genres that cut across poetry, prose, and drama (play) from Nigerians worldwide each year.
Apart from this trio, many other poets out there have won some prestigious prizes and still keeping the lights on, in their pursuit to keep creating and winning more poetry prizes.