Nigerian poet, Frank Eze has won the fifth edition of Words Rhymes & Rhythm’s Eriata Oribhbaor Poetry Prize (EOPP 2016) with his entry ‘Porcelain Plates’.
Eze, a poet resident of Ibadan, Nigeria, was shortlisted for the 2016 edition of Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize. His poems have been published on Storried, COAL, WritiVision, Praxis and other online journals.
Madu Chisom Kingdavid and Famuwagun Festus joined Frank Eze on the list as first and second runner-ups respectively with their poems ‘Where we were Born’ and ‘House of Noisemakers’.
The duo will receive cash prizes of ₦20,000 and ₦10,000 while the winner, Eze, gets ₦50,000 alongside copies of Crossroads & The Rubicon and Beautiful Poison, poetry collections, both authored by Sponsor of the prize, Eriata Oribhabor.
The other entries on the shortlist include:
- Electron Microscopy – Uche Ogbuji
- An Old Man’s Story – Abraham Isaac Oluwatimilehin
- How the Beam Lost its Balance – Frank Eze
- Voice of the Future Scolding Today – Olajuwon Joseph Olumide
- Is Justice Really Blind? – Chiebuka Ojukwu
- Unity – Daniel Zangam
The chair of the judging panel, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, while commenting on the results described the winning poem as “being metaphorically poignant and thematically adept.”
“It was a daunting task selecting just 3 poems out of about 400 wonderful entries, especially as the poems addressed salient and proximal issues,” he said.
“Surely, Nigerian poetry is on the rise.”
Oribhabor said he is delighted with the outcome of the contest.
“There is no doubt that the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize is growing in leaps and bounds since its institution five years ago,” he said.
“Whilst appreciating the organizers for actualizing the objectives of the prize, I am further encouraged to dedicate more resources towards the promotion of poetry as a tool for reordering perspectives for societal good.”
Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, CEO of Words Rhymes & Rhythm Ltd, organizer of the prize, called for more initiatives like the EOPP.
“Nigerian writing will not regain its lost glory if we don’t make conscious efforts to reward good writing and young writers as we are doing with the EOPP,” he said.
“We must bring respect to the industry and one of the ways of doing that is rewarding the efforts of our writers.”
The EOPP was instituted in 2012 to give the much needed attention to Nigerian poetry and encourage young Nigerian poets to use poetry as a tool for social change.