We are elated to announce the judges for the fifth edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) which opened for submissions on 15th January 2020.

The Judging Panel includes Dr. Austine Amanze Akpuda, Dr. Santosh Bakaya, ‘Gbenga Adeoba and Naseeba Babale.

The judges will select the prize winners and top 100 entrants (from amongst 540 entrants representing 90 tertiary institutions) for the NSPP 2020 anthology.

Dr. Austine Amanze Akpuda is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria. As a Poet, Literary and Film Critic, he has presented conference papers on Nigerian Poetry since 1992 and taught Nigerian Poetry since 1997. A great promoter of Nigerian Poetry, Dr. Akpuda has been a Guest Judge for contests organized by the Association of Nigerian Authors, Rivers and Imo State chapters. He has also rendered service in the same capacity to a joint effort of the Alex Ekwueme University, Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State and the state branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors.

Dr. Akpuda served in the College of Screeners of the popular and well-regarded Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in 2015 and 2017. He has edited a number of books, including Reconstructing the Canon : Festschrift in Honour of Prof Charles E. Nnolim (2001), Currents in Early American Literature (2000), The Black Presence in Caribbean Literature (2005), The Literary Response to Modernity (2014), Paradigms in Modern Nigerian Drama (2017) and co-edited with Greg Mbajiorgu the 614 page 50 Years of Solo Performing Art in Nigerian Theatre 1966 – 2016 (2018). Dr. Akpuda’s first major book-length study of new Nigerian Poetry is entitled: Celebrating God’s Own Robot: Nigerian Poets & the Gani Fawehinmi Phenomenon (2003) while a major pan-Nigerian and trans-generational study of Nigerian Poetry (Symphony and Symmetry in Nigerian Poetry) is awaiting publication. Dr Amanze Akpuda as Editor of ANA Review: Journal of the Association of Nigerian Authors in 2012 initiated what has now become the New Series of the Journal.


Dr. Santosh Bakaya is a poet, novelist, essayist, reviewer, Ted-Speaker and academician. Winner of the International Reuel Award for Literature for her long poem, Oh Hark! (2014), she has been critically acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu (Vitasta, 2015). Invited to many literary festivals, she was one of the delegates at SAARC Sufi Festival, 2017 (Jaipur). Recipient of The Universal Inspirational Poet Award (2016) instituted by Pentasi B Friendship Poetry and Ghana Government, she has also received the Bharat Nirman Award for literary Excellence (2017), Setu Award (2018), [Pittsburgh, USA] ‘in recognition of a stellar contribution to world literature’ and The first Keshav Malik award 2019 ‘for her entire staggeringly prolific and quality conscious oeuvre’. Her Tedx Talk on The Myth of Writers’ Block is very popular in creative writing classes. She runs a very popular column, Morning Meanderings in Learning and Her published works include: Where are the lilacs? (Poems ,Authorspress  2016), Flights from my Terrace (Essays, Authorspress, 2017), Under the Apple Boughs (Poems , Authorspress, 2017), A Skyful of Balloons (Novella ,Authors’ press, 2018), Bring out the tall tales (short stories with Avijit Sarkar, Authorspress, 2019), Only in Darkness can you see the stars (A biography of Martin Luther King Jr, Vitasta , 2019) and Songs of Belligerence (Poems, Authorspress, 2020).


‘Gbenga Adeoba, winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize, is the author of Exodus (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) and the chapbook Here is Water, which appeared in the New Generation African Poets Series (APBF/Akashic books, 2019).

A finalist for the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, ‘Gbenga’s poems have been published in Oxford Poetry, Pleiades, Poet Lore, African American Review, Prairie Schooner, Notre Dame Review, Hotel Amerika, among several others.

He is a graduate of the University of Ibadan (BA) and University of Iowa (MFA).


Naseeba Babale is a poet, literary administrator and medical laboratory scientist with the Department of Chemical Pathology and Immunology Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. She is a member of Association of Nigerian Authors (Kano State Branch), the Secretary of Poetic Wednesdays Initiative and moderator for Glass door Initiative’s Poetically Written Prose contest 2019 and 2020. A graduate of Bayero University, Kano, Naseeba is a lover of arts and columnist for Konya Shams Rumi. She hails from Kano State.


Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

Moderator, NSPP 2020


  1. We look forward to hearing the winners, and of course, reading another anthology of poems creatively weaved by young poets.

  2. I was really happy to see this, I almost lost hope but seeing this revived me and got me praying to be favoured

  3. I almost thought it’s impossible
    To expect the result of our submissions
    Losing hope too soon, is quit fallible.
    However, realeasing this announcement in time,
    Repleted with the info of the judges,
    is indeed incredible.

    It came at the time of despair
    To invigorate the saddened heart
    Come, O result!
    In my favour, you must come!
    Hurry O result, hurry fast!

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