The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, led by Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo has announced an initial shortlist of eleven books, drawn from 184 entries, in the running for the 2017 edition of the competition.

According to the statement released by NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, the shortlisted poets include Akinlabi, Peter (Iconography), Ekwuazi, Hyginus (One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper), Gomba, Obari (For Every Homeland), and Ifowodo, Ogaga (A Good Mourning). Others are Lari-Williams, Seun (Garri for Breakfast), Ogu, Humphrey (Echoes of Neglect), Ojaide, Tanure (Songs of Myself: Quartet), Oke, Ikeogu (The Heresiad), Othman, Abubakar (Blood Streams in the Desert), Verissimo, Jumoke (The Birth of Illusion), and Yeibo, Ebi (Of Waters and the Wild).

The Nigeria Prize for Literature has, since 2004, rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2004, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2004, poetry) for The Dreamer, His Vision, Ahmed Yerima (2005, drama) for his play, Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her book, My Cousin Sammy, and Kaine Agary (2008, prose) for her book Yellow Yellow.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2017 prize is for poetry and comes with a cash award of $100, 000. Next year is drama.

A shortlist of three is expected in September and a possible winner will be announced by the Advisory Board in October.