The Brunel International African Poetry Prize is aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The Prize is sponsored by Brunel University London. It is the largest cash prize for African poetry in the world.

The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize.

Bernardine Evaristo, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel, initiated the award in 2012 in order to revitalise African poetry, which at the time was almost invisible on the literary landscape. The Prize was set up to encourage a new generation of poets who might one day become an international presence. Today, there are legions of African poets successfully getting published, building careers and being heard. This quiet revolution demonstrates the power of initiatives such as the Brunel prize and the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) to revolutionise the literature of an entire continent. The future looks very bright and African poetry is staking its claim as a major force in world literature.

The Prize works closely with APBF, and since its inception, most of the poets who have been nominated and/or won the Brunel prize have published chapbooks with the African Poetry Book Fund series of ‘New Generation Chapbook Box Sets’. 

This is the tenth and final year of the Prize in its current iteration. After the winner has been announced in May, the Prize will become part of the African Poetry Book Fund’s roster of prizes and activities. They have renamed it the Evaristo African Poetry Prize and it will open for submissions in October 2022.

For press, media and other professional enquiries only, contact Bernardine Evaristo at Bernardine.Evaristo@brunel.ac.uk.

Brunel University London
Brunel University London is a public research university located in London.