This is the archived website for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, which ran from 2012 to 2022. Aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa, and with prize money of 3k, it was the largest cash prize for African poetry in the world. The Prize’s primary funder was Brunel University London, with contributions from the Commonwealth Foundation.
Bernardine Evaristo, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, initiated the award 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. Only poets who had not published a full collection were eligible, and they had to submit 10 poems.
List of Winners
2013 Warsan Shire (Somalia)
2014 Liyou Libsekal (Ethiopia)
2015 Safia Elhillo (Sudan) & Nick Makoha (Uganda)
2016 Gbenga Adesina (Nigeria) & Chekwube O. Danladi (Nigeria)
2017 Romeo Oriogun (Nigeria)
2018 Hiwot Adilow (Ethiopia), Theresa Lola (Nigeria) & Momtaza Mehri (Somalia)
2019 Nadra Mabrouk (Egypt) & Jamila Osman (Somalia)
2020 Rabha Ashry (Egypt)
2021 Othuke Umukoro (Nigeria)
2022 Zibusiso Mpofu (Zimbabwe)
The Prize worked closely with APBF, and the shortlisted and winning poets published chapbooks with the African Poetry Book Fund series of ‘New Generation Chapbook Box Sets’, before publishing their first full collections, and even subsequent collections.
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 this Prize and the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF), with its numerous projects, to revolutionise the literature of an entire continent.
In 2023, the Prize was taken on by the APBF who renamed it the Evaristo Prize for African Poetry, with prize money of $1500.
Brunel University London is a public research university located in London.