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The Brunel University African Poetry Prize Shortlist:

Now in it’s second year, this year this literary award sponsored by Brunel University is aimed at the “development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. Partnered by Commonwealth Writers, the Africa Centre UK, and the African Poetry Book Fund USA, It comes with a £ 3,000 honorarium.  It is aimed at unpublished poets with a manuscript of ten poems. The prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African.

In collaboration with the African Poetry Book Fund, the Brunel University African Poetry Prize aims to develop a series of poetry workshops and courses in Africa in its efforts to provide technical support for poets on the continent.The African Poetry Book Fund. Last year the prize was won by Somali poet, Warsan Shire, who has since been awarded an American publisher for her poetry, travelled to six countries as a writer and become the first Young Poet Laureate for London.

The winner will be announced on 12th May 2014.

The judges this year are poets, critics and academics: Kwame Dawes, Kadija George, Daljit Nagra, Mpalive Msiska and Chair, Bernardine Evaristo. Out of 579 entries, the judges produced a shortlist of six poets, none of whom has yet published a full length poetry book.

The shortlisted poets are: Viola Allo from Cameroon; Inua Ellams from Nigeria;
 Amy Lukau from Angola; Nick Makoha from Uganda, Vuyelwa Maluleke from South Africa and Liyou Mesfin Libsekal from Ethiopia.

Bernardine Evaristo, founder of the prize and Chair of judges, has this to say about this year’s competition, ‘The overall quality of entries this year was higher than our first year and the six shortlisted poets demonstrate a lovely range of voices and styles. We’re also really pleased that the poets represent three of Africa’s regions and that yet again that we have an equal gender balance. Last year the prize generated a lot of interest and I feel we are moving towards our goal of putting African poetry on the map.’

The poets are available for interview, and live in Africa, the UK and the USA. They can be contacted via Bernardine Evaristo at

For more information about the prize and the shortlisted poets, please visit our website:  Brunel African Poetry Prize