British-Nigerian born, Theresa Lola is a joint winner in the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She came top alongside Ethiopian Hiwot Adilow and Somalian Momtaza Mehri. The three wins a cash prize of £1000 each from the organization which received 1000 entries from participants.
The organizing team stated that the judges were unable to settle for one winner hence the need to pick three winners for this year prize.
To encourage the winners and make the whole world see the brilliancy they possess in writing good poet, the organization plans is to have their works published in the New Generation African Poets series of books by the African Poetry Book Fund.
“Winning the Brunel International African Poetry Prize feels surreal, it is an unwavering highlight,” said Lola.
“To win the Brunel International African Poetry Prize feels like I am doing my job and responsibility as a poet and human in putting Africa forward where it rightly belongs.”
Lola has been shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize, 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, and she wins the 2017 Hammer and Tongue National Slam at the Royal Albert Hall, UK.
In 2016, the Brunel poetry prize was jointly won by two Nigerians, Gbenga Adesina and Chekwube O. Danladi.
Another Nigerian poet, Romeo Oriogun, wins the 2017 prize for his entry about “masculinity and desire in the face of LGBT criminalisation and persecution”.
Bernadine Evaristo, founder of the prize and professor of creative writing at Brunel University London, said: “To be one of three winners of this prize, out of 1000 entries, is an amazing achievement.
“I’d like to congratulate the winners for rising to the top and wish them well with their future careers as poets.”
The poetry prize which was launched in 2012 is open to all African poets.