Poets in Nigeria (PIN) is pleased to announce the judges for the 2018 edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize. The judging panel, chaired by Ismail Bala, includes hülya n. yılmaz, Soji Cole, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson and Saka Aliyu.

Ismail BalaIsmail Bala writes in English and Hausa. He teaches English at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, where he specialises in modern and contemporary poetry, and literary theory. His poetry and translations have appeared in the UK, the USA, Canada, India and South Africa, in journals such as Poetry Review, Ambit, New Coin, Okike, A Review of International English Literature and Aura Literary Arts Review. Born and educated to university level in Kano, he did his post-graduate studies at Oxford. He is a Fellow of the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa.



hülya n. yılmaz.Picture for NPP 2018 JudgesBorn in Turkey, hülya n. yılmaz presently serves as full-time faculty at Penn State and as the Director of Editing Services at Inner Child Press. Her academic publications dwell on literary relations between the West and the Islamic East and on gender conceptualizations within the context of Islam. Dr. yılmaz had her formal initiation as a creative writer in the U.S. Her published works include Trance –a tri-lingual book of poetry, Aflame –memoirs in verse and An Aegean Breeze of Peace –a poem collection she has co-authored with Demetrius Trifiatis. Poetry by hülya appeared in excess of fifty international anthologies.




received_10213232388979113Soji Cole is a Playwriting/Creative Writing instructor at the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan. He was the winner of Association of Nigerian Authors’ Playwriting Prize in 2014. He has been long-listed for the BBC World Playwriting Competition, the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature and the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. He was a Fulbright Fellow in 2014/2015 and is a Visiting Creative Writing Fellow at the Centre for Research and Creative Exchange, University of Roehampton, UK.


Kukogho Iruesiri SamsonKukogho Iruesiri Samson is a Nigerian writer, publisher, multimedia journalist and youth mentor. He is known for his work with young Nigerian writers and the promotion of Nigerian writing through his multi-platform educational and publishing firm, Words Rhymes & Rhythm Ltd. Kukogho has authored a quadrilogy of poetry collections — What can words do (2013) and I said these words (2015), Words of eros (2017) and WE WHO Sowed hurt and beaded pains (2017) and has won accolades for his writing, including the Orange Crush 1st Prize for Poetry in 2012, the Nigerian Writers Award (NWA) for ‘Best Poet In Nigeria 2015’ and the 2017 ANA Prize For Fiction (First-Runner-Up), for his unpublished novel, The Devil’s Pawn. He was also listed among the Nigerian Writers Awards’ list of 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40 in 2016.


Saka AliyuSakky Jojo (Saka Aliyu, PhD) studied History at Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Sokoto, University of Ilorin and Universiteit Leiden. He was a 2016 Cadbury Fellow at the University of Birmingham. His novel Altine was published in 2003. He served as the Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Kaduna State branch, 2006-2008. His poem L’aruge (Promotion) was shortlisted for the Babishai Niwe African Poetry Prize in 2014. He also won the Kwandala Foundation Anniversary Poetry Prize in 2016 for his poem ‘Unsung Song of Almajiri.’ His poems have appeared in ANA Review and several other Anthologies. His playlet ‘Spaghettini’ was featured in Sentinel Nigeria online Magazine and staged at Bayero University in 2010. In 2010 his play, ‘A Piss in the Potsherd’ won the third position in the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Drama Competition. He teaches History at Bayero University, Kano. In 2017, he was one of the Judges for the PIN Kano Centre’s Poetry Competition to mark the Anniversary of the Ascension of his Highness The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.


Visit nspp.poetsinnigeria.org.ng for more details about the Poetry Prize.

Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom
Moderator, NSPP 2018



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