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Nick Makoha shortlisted for Babishai Poetry Award

From over 2,000 poems, Nick was included on the Longlist of 16. The winner of the 2015 Babishai Poetry Award will be announced during the Babishai Poetry Festival in Kampala, Uganda at the end of August. During the festival, the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation team will launch Poetry On The Mountain, which is a poetry excursion scheduled to take place in 2016, at one of Uganda’s mountain ranges. At the festival, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems will also be launched, a poetry anthology of Kampala poems. #BABISHAI2015 TOP FIVE

We wish all the shortlisted poets, much success. We’ll be profiling all of them before we announce our Top 3. After a few months of tough deliberation after such an excellent collection of poems, Judges Richard Ali, Mildred Barya and Professor Antjie Krog, have selected their top five.

Professor Krog, of the University of Western Cape, in a few of her comments, says this about the judging process.

The process of being a judge in this competition was for me pure privilege! Although reading through hundreds of poems is daunting and at times overwhelming, the adventure of getting to know what and how poets from the continent write in English, was an absolute thrill and actually deserves a full analytical essay. Poets are NOT oblivious of the suffering, injustice and terrorising in so many parts of the continent. A straightforward political poem is one of the most difficult things to write! Even accomplished poets do not always manage to sidestep clichés, preaching, shortsightedness-out-of-anger, shallowness-out-of- anger, proportionality dissonance, or to lift the violent contemporary into a broader encompassing vision. But among these entries were some very fine solid political poems, complex in their content and sophisticated in their presentation.”

The Babishai Poetry 2015 shortlisted poems are:

· Elixir by Famia Nkansa (Ghana)
· Scented Mangoes by Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria)
· LHR by Nick Makoha (Uganda)
· A Room With a Drowning Book by Adeeko Ibukun (Nigeria)
· The Ghost of Jevanjee by Sheila Okongo Omare Nyanduaki (Kenya)

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