We are elated to announce the judges for the seventh edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) which opened for submissions on 15th January 2022.

The Judging Panel includes Professor Sunny Awhefeada, Professor Nduka Otiono, Iquo DianaAbasi, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson and Luz María López.

The judges will select the prize winners and exceptional entries for the NSPP 2022 anthology.

SUNNY AWHEFEADA is a professor of African Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Delta State University, Abraka. He was editor of The Guardian Literary Series and has also served as Judge for the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). He writes the Imperative column for the Daily Independent newspaper on Fridays.

NDUKA OTIONO is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Supervisor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author and co-editor of several books of creative writing and academic research including Oral Literary Performance in Africa: Beyond Text (2021). Prior to turning to academia, he was for many years a journalist in Nigeria and General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors. His research has appeared in top-ranked journals, and his creative writing books include his recently re-issued debut, The Night Hides with a Knife, which won the ANA/Spectrum Prize for Fiction; Voices in the Rainbow (poems), which received Honorable Mention for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize; and Love in a Time of Nightmares, for which he was awarded the James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing. DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono is his latest creative work published as part of Canada’s foremost poetry series, the Laurier Poetry Series. Otiono is President of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) and joint editor-in-chief of Nokoko, journal of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University.

IQUO DIANAABASI is a creative writer, performer and social activist. She writes prose, poetry and scripts for radio and screen. Her writings explore societal issues, womanhood, the environment and the need to embrace our humanity as a precursor to healing.

Beyond the Staccato, her first audio offering of poems and music was released in April 2022 on online platforms and CDs. This album is a commentary on the state of affairs in Nigeria. Iquo’s second poetry collection, Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten, has also been released in 2022.

Her short story collection, Èfó Rírò and Other Stories was released in 2020 to much acclaim. Her first poetry collection, Symphony of Becoming, was longlisted for the NLNG Nigeria prize for literature, the ANA poetry prize, and the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. 

Her writings appear in African Literature Today, Kalahari Review, AfricaInWords, Saraba magazine, Ebedi Review, ANA Review, and She has also been featured in several print and online poetry anthologies.

Iquo is known to perform her poems with a touch of Ibibio folklore. Stages she has graced include: Lagos International Poetry Festival, Ake Arts and Book Festival, The Big60 Cultural Exchange, Wole Soyinka @80, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, The Macmillan Literary night, PLAY Poetry Festival and more. 

Iquo edits the African speculative fiction magazine,

KUKOGHO 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 on the Nigerian Writers Awards’ list of 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40 in 2016 and 2018. Kukogho is the 2018 winner of the Dusty Manuscript Prize contest, an initiative of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC. He is NSPP’s longest-serving judge having served on the jury for six editions.

LUZ MARÍA LÓPEZ is a Puerto Rican poet, narrator, editor, anthologist (10 books), translator, prologist, lecturer, international cultural promotor and award-winning author. She has published eight poetry books, short stories and academic articles. Her poetry is translated to fifteen languages ​​and published in selected author’s books, quarterly journals, literary magazines and multiple anthologies of poetry and storytelling. She is the President of the Academic Committee of the EMH International Book Fair in Puerto Rico and contributing Editor of The Dhaka Review – a poetry journal. She is on the Editorial Board of the Literary Magazine, Taller Igitur (Mexico) and Different Truths Foundation. An Honorary Member of the National Council of International Independent Writers, Luz is a recipient of the Kathak Literary Award, Dhaka International Poets Summit, 2017; “Shaan-E-Adab” Award, XI International Writers Festival, University of Udaipur, India, 2016. She has participated in international poetry festivals, congresses, expo-colloquiums, book fairs in many countries and has been a judge for literary contests as well. Luz is a world traveller learning about diverse cultures and life’s perspectives.

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