Poets in Nigeria (PIN) is pleased to announce the judges for the fourth edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize which opened for submissions on 15th January, 2019. The panel of judges includes Professor Mallam Al-Bishak, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, Professor hülya n. yılmaz, Dr. Obari Gomba and Gbenga Adesina. The judges will assess five hundred and four (504) poems from students representing ninety-six (96) tertiary institutions.

Professor Mallam Al-Bishak (MON) is a literary critic, social commentator and senior lecturer with the Department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK). A former chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, Nasarawa State Chapter whose revolutionary strides heightened the status of the writers’ body, Al-Bishak is currently the Director of Consultancy Unit, NSUK. He was recently elevated to the position of a Professor of Literature by the Federal University, Lafia. His works have appeared in many prestigious journals.

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Writers Award (NWA) for ‘Best Poet In Nigeria 2015’ and the 2017 ANA Prize For Fiction (First-Runner-Up), for his unpublished novel, The Devil’s Pawn.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.

 A retired Liberal Arts professor, hülya n. yılmaz [sic], Ph.D., is Co-Chair and Director of Editing Services at Inner Child Press International; a published writer; literary translator and a member of the Academy of American Poets and the Editorial Freelancers Association. Her poetry has appeared in an excess of sixty-two anthologies of global endeavors, some of which she presented at poetry events in the U.S., Kosovo, Canada, Jordan and Tunisia. As of April 15, 2017, hülya’s two poems are a part of Telepoem Booth – a U.S.-wide permanent public art installation. On May 25, 2018, Canada’s WIN honored hülya with a poetry award. Also, her prose work (e.g. feature articles, introductions, forewords and epilogues) appeared in literary publications of national and international makeup. yılmaz finds it vital for everyone to understand a deeper sense of self and writes creatively to attain a comprehensive awareness for and development of our humanity.

 Gbenga Adesina is a Nigerian poet and essayist. He jointly won the 2016 Brunel African Poetry Prize. He was a 2016 Norman mailer Poetry Fellow at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California and a 2017 Emerging Poet’s Fellow at Poet’s House, New York. He has received other fellowships and scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Centre, Provincetown, the Open Society Foundation in Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal and Callaloo at Oxford. His poetry chapbook, Painter of Water was published by APBF and Akashic Books, New York in a series edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. His poem, “How To Paint A Girl” was selected by Matthew Zapruder for its “clarity of observation and empathetic insight into the suffering of another” for the New York Times. Other works have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Brittle Paper, Vinyl, Ploughshares among others. He won the 2019 Palette Spotlight Poetry AwardHe is currently a GoldWater Poetry Fellow at New York University where he teaches Undergraduate Creative Writing.

Obari Gomba (PhD) teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. He is a recipient of Rivers ANA Distinguished Writer Award, an Honorary Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa (USA), and a two-time Winner of both the Best Literary Artiste Award and the First Prize for Drama of the English Association of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has been listed three times for the Nigeria Prize for Literature (2013, 2017 and 2018). His works include Guerrilla Post (Winner of ANA Drama Prize 2018), For Every Homeland (Winner of ANA Poetry Prize 2017), Thunder Protocol (Winner of ANA Poetry Prize 2016), Length of Eyes (First Runner-Up for ANA Poetry Prize in 2013), and Pearls of the Mangrove (adopted as a ‘Book of the Festival’ in 2011 by the Garden City Literary Festival). He curated an anthology featuring 35 writers from 33 countries, entitled A Piece of Daily Life, for the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa (USA) in 2016.

His poetry has been published in international journals such as Prosopisia, Sentinel, Maple Tree Literary Supplement and Eleven Eleven (which listed his “Gun Policy” in the 20 Best of the Net for 2016). He has read his poems in the United States at Shambaugh House (University of Iowa), Dubuque Museum of Arts, Oaknell Retirement Centre, and Kirkwood. In Nigeria, he has read his poems at Alliance Franciase in Enugu, Lagos International Poetry Festival, Lagos Book and Art Festival, Abuja Writers Forum, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Port Harcourt Book Festival, Art Republic/Art-in-My-City Exhibition in Enugu, History Concourse in Port Harcourt, and CORA Book Party for the Nigeria Prize for Literature.

Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

Moderator, NSPP 2019



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