Monday, 28 July 2014


"I got a pile of about 500 submissions and cutting it down to 46 was merely time consuming, relatively easy. But I had headaches and hesitation every step of the way cutting those down to my best 15, and when 15 each came in as well from Kgafela and Joanne Arnott, it was almost as if some special gravitational field had stayed my scroll-read-appraise-delete functions. Choosing the very best 5 poems called up all the strength I had, for it takes strength to be brutal, to decide which is the fine poem of a lot of fine poems, which possesses the slimmest space between word and emotion, which should make it in because it better turns out the fresher metaphor, the more intriguing image, the pure emotion--to pick five of these from such a rich hoard . . . I wondered, at times, if God would forgive me!"
~ Richard Ali (Nigeria)

"Chopping down was hard. But I had to stop the heart from bleeding for my darlings and chop."
~ Kgafela oa Magogodi (South Africa)

Follow link to read short-listed poems:

THE CARPENTER by El Lazim Elbasha (Sudan)

L’ARUGE (PROMOTION) by Saka Aliyu (Nigeria)

insane living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe (Uganda)

Under the Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard (South Africa) 


THE NIGHT SANGO CAME TO UJAGBE by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari (Nigeria) 
THINGS THAT WERE LOST IN OUR VAGINAS by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese (Tanzania)     

DIALOGUE OVER THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune (Uganda)

Blood and Water by Elizabeth Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)

Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari (Nigeria)  


1. Blood and Water and Celebration (2 in 1) by Elizabeth Muchemwa  Zimbabwe

2. After The Rain by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune from Uganda

3. The Crumpled Up paper and The Smooth Elegant One by Willie Ng'ang'a from Kenya.

4. Insane Living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe from Uganda

5. Reborn by Brenda Kanani from Kenya

6. The Carpenter by Saba El Laziri from Sudan

7. Sun Visit  by Edzordzi Agbozo from Ghana

8. Piano and Gongs by Kelvin Opeoluwa Kellman from Nigeria

9. Our Oiled Rusty Shores by Attah John Ojonugwa from Nigeria

10. Beware by Richard Quaz Roodt from South Africa

11. Time Zones by Kyle Allan of South Africa

12. Dear Asabi by Mof'oluwawo Mojolaoluwa from Nigeria

13. Dialogue Over The Twilight Zone ( Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Kyeyune Muyanja, Uganda

14. The Things That were Lost In Our Vaginas by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese, Tanzania

15. There Was Once Something Special Here by Tom Jalio, Kenya

16. I am Still Here by Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa, Nigeria

17. L'aruge/Promotion by Saka Aliyu, Nigeria

18. She Could Hear God by Jennie Marima, Kenya

19. Smarty Phone by Nassolo Marjorie, Uganda

20. Biriwa was My Home by Kojo Turkson, Ghana

21. A Place Called Home by Dela Nyamuame, Ghana

22. If I Was by Achieng Odhiambo, Kenya

23. I am The Beginning by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

24. Greater Enemy by Emiru David Patrick, Uganda

25. The Conversation (2) by Tumelo Thekisho, South Africa

26. Why Must African men Not Cry

27. Between God and Man 1 and 11 by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

28. Half Filled Graves by Okwudili Nebeolisa, Nigeria

29. Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari, Nigeria

30. Moonlight or No Light by Nana Nyarko Boateng, Ghana

31. Under The Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard, South Africa

32. Two Sides of A Window by Damilola Michael Aderibigbe, Nigeria

33. It Happened to me too by James Yeku, Nigeria

34. A Weekend in Lagos by Isoje Chou, Nigeria

35. Paranoia by Oluwaloni Olowookere, Nigeria

36. Autshumato by Celeste Fritze, South Africa

37. Children Also Grow by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

38. A Sudden Time by Solagbade Oyefara, Nigeria

39. Different Forms of Slaughter by Asante Lucy Mtenje, Malawi

40. The Night Sango Came to Ujagbe by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari, Nigeria

41. What Poetry Means to Me by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

42. Mama Talks by Valerie Awo-Dede Okaiteh, Ghana

43. Indeed Beauty Full by Oludami Yomi-Alliyu, Nigeria

44. Celestial Sprouts (Twin-Tomato-Tree) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune, Uganda

 With thanks for the +1000 submissions, and congratulations to the poets whose poems arrived on the long list, and the short list. Final prize-winners (first, second, third) will be announced at the awards ceremony, in September.

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