Monday, January 26, 2015

INTRODUCING OUR ESTEEMED PANEL OF BN POETRY AWARD 2015 JUDGES

         

PRESS RELEASE:  26 January 2015

INTRODUCING THE ESTEEMED PANEL OF BN POETRY AWARD 2015 JUDGES

It’s a daunting task, to deliberate over someone’s well-crafted art work. A poetry competition is even more so because a poem is a personal and intricate space of words and music. In selecting the Judges for 2015, the BN Poetry Foundation team chose people that understood these dynamics, people who held literature, especially poetry in high regard and had made significant impact on the continent. Each judge will look at each poem submission carefully before submitting the long-list by early July 2015.

 Professor Antjie Krog.

(Image Source: Internet)
Antjie Krog is a poet, writer, journalist and Extraordinary professor at the University of the Western Cape. She has published twelve volumes of poetry in Afrikaans and three non-fiction books in English:Country of my Skull, on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; A Change of Tongue about the transformation in South Africa after ten years and recently Begging to be Black about the different ethical frameworks operating in the country’s democracy. Her works have been translated into English, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, Swedish, Serbian and Arabic.

Krog has been awarded most of the prestigious South African awards for non-fiction and poetry in both Afrikaans and English. International recognition came through the award of the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture (2000); Open Society Prize (2006) from the Central European University (previous winners Jürgen Habermas and Vaclav Havel);Research fellowship at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2007/2008 and an Honorary Doctorate from the Tavistock Clinic of the University of East London UK.
Here are some of her prizes, publications and awards.

*Eugene Marais prize for the most promising young writer (1973)
*Dutch/Flemish prize Reina Prinsen-Geerligs prize for most promising young writer (1976)
*Pringle Award for excellence in journalism for reporting on the Truth Commission (1996)
* Honourable Mention in the Noma Awards for Publishing in Africa for ‘Country of my Skull’ (1999)
* Country of my Skull was named as one of the top 100 books written by Africans in the twentieth century
*Open Society Prize (2006) from the Central European University (previous winners were Jürgen Habermas and Vaclav Havel)
*Protea Prize for best volume of poetry in Afrikaans for 2006 (Verweerskrif)
*  Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stellenbosch
*  Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Orange Freestate
*  Honorary Doctorate from the Nelson Mandela MetropolitanUniversity

Books Published:
Poetry
Dogter van Jefta (Human &Rousseau 1970); Januarie Suite (H&R 1972),Mannin (H&R 1974),Beminde Antarktika (H&R 1974),Otter in Bronslaai (H&R 1981),Jerusalemgangers (H&R 1985),Lady Anne (Taurus:1989),Gedigte 1989-1995 (Hond: 1995),Kleur kom nooit alleen nie (Kwela 2000),Eerste Gedigte (H&R 2003) (Heruitgawe),Verweerskrif (Umuzi 2006),English Translations of Poetry ,Down to my Last Skin (Random House 2000), Body Bereft (Umuzi 2006)

Non-fiction
Country of my Skull (Random House 1998),A Change of Tongue (Random House 2003) ,‘n Ander Tongval (Tafelberg 2005)

Prose
Relaas van ’n Moord (Human and Rousseau 1995),Account of a Murder (translated by Karen Press) (Heinemann 1997),Poetry for young Children
Mankepank en ander Monsters (1989),Voëls van anderster vere (1992) Buchu Books,Fynbos feetjies (Umuzi 2007),Fynbos fairies (Umuzi 2007)

TRANSLATIONS of OTHER WORKS

Poetry
Met woorde soos met kerse (Kwela 2002), The stars say ‘tsau’ (Kwela 2004),Die sterre sê ‘tsau’ (Kwela 2004)

. We asked Professor Anjtie Krog, what she expected from the poetry submissions of this year and the significant changes in poetry from the continent.

1.       What do you feel is significant about poetry from Africa today?
That it is highly privileged by being surrounded by unchartered spaces and spaces unchartered by Africans.  
2.       What do you expect from the award submissions of the BN Poetry Award?
It would be very interesting to see the variety of themes (the usual: love, death, my mother, Africa or not?); the variety of voices (the "I", the personal or the general "we" or something new?); the variety of forms (sonnets, ballads or the use of indigenous forms?) and finally the style (what are the metaphors, images, surprising verbs and nouns etc?). I am also curious about whether rap and slam poets will enter, and if so, how?     


Introducing Richard Ali


Courtesy photo

Richard Ali is a lawyer, author and poet born in Kano, Nigeria. Author of the warmly received 2012 novel, City of Memories, Richard is also Editor-in-Chief of the Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and was a runner-up at the 2008 John la Rose Short Story Competition. He edits the quarterly Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and serves as Publicity Secretary [North] on the Association of Nigerian Authors. Richard completed a 6-week Residency at the Ebedi Writers Residency Program in 2012, attended the Chimamanda Adichie-led Farafina Workshop in 2012 and was a Guest at the 2013 Ake Book and Arts Festival, Abeokuta. He lives in Abuja where he practices law and runs the northern office of Parrésia Publishers Ltd where he serves as Chief Operating Officer. He is unmarried and enjoys chess, reading and travelling. He is working on his debut collection of poems, The Divan.
Poetry Works
http://www.african-writing.com/four/richardugbedeali.htm
http://www.african-writing.com/eight/richardugbedeali.htm
Downloadable: http://www.sarabamag.com/voices-on-the-four-winds-3-poetry-chapbook/   
Radio Play-
http://www.transculturalwriting.com/radiophonics/contents/onlineworkshops/radiophonicsinnigeria/radiophonicspodcasts/index.html
Interview
Emmanuel Iduma interviews Richard Ali http://mantlethought.org/category/keywords/richard-ali
Prose
Downloadable novel excerpt: http://parresiapublishers.com/richard_Ali.php
Two questions for Richard.

1. What do you feel is significant about poetry from Africa today?

I had the pleasure of judging the 2014 Poetry Prize and two things seem particularly significant about contemporary African Poetry—the variety of its concerns and the quality of craft with which these concerns are expressed. I have read poetry from all over the continent and while their concerns remain seemingly local and personal, they have succeeded largely in expressing these in a way that does not exclude. The national and nationalist, or regional, concerns are gone now in favour of the individual’s vantage interpretation of the personal.

2. What do you expect from the award submissions of the BN Poetry Award 2015?

I look forward to a deluge of submissions and to a lot of work. Well over a thousand entries were received last year and I expect even more this year. My personal preference, and the emphasis of my selection, will be biased towards the craftsmen who can turn out the newer, fresher image and metaphor while keeping a keen ear to the sound of each syllable of each line. The better poetry, to my mind, are those that that can achieve these without showing the effort it takes. The value of the better poem rises inversely to how less of its effort it reveals.
Introducing Mildred Barya

Courtesy photo

Mildred Kiconco Barya, a Ugandan doctorate fellow at The University of Denver. She holds a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and a Masters Degree in Organisational Psychology from Makerere University.

She is the author of three award-winning poetry collections, namely:-
Give Me Room to Move My Feet, published in 2009 by Amalion Press in Senegal, The Price of Memory after the Tsunami, published by Mallory Publishers in UK and Men love Chocolates But They Don’t Say, self-published collection in 2002. Mildred serves on the advisory board of African Writers Trust where she is also a founding member. She is devoted to social change through creative works and blogs regularly at mildredbarya.com.

Mildred received high recommendation in 2004 during the Caine Prize selections.  She was awarded the 2008 Pan African Literary Forum Prize for Africana Fiction. Barya's short fiction has appeared in FEMRITE anthologies, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, African Love Stories, Picador Africa, and Pambazuka News. An excerpt from her novel What Was Left Behind earned her the 2008 Pan African Literary Forum Prize for Africana Fiction, as judged by Junot Diaz, the Dominican-American Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer and essayist.

Two questions for Mildred:

What do you feel is significant about poetry from Africa today?

Poetry from Africa today is very diverse, unpredictable, surprising and refreshing in scope, vision, form, narrative, style, voice, and so on.
2.       What do you expect from the award submissions of the BN Poetry Award?
To say that I expect variety is an understatement, but I’m looking forward to interesting perspectives, experimental work, and genre-breaking poetry that defies traditional or even modern forms of categorization. In short, I have great expectations and no room for disappointment.
The BN Poetry Foundation team is grateful for this esteemed panel of judges and to their media partners, Afridiaspora.







                          

Friday, January 23, 2015

RUKUTURA/RED-POEM BY PATIENCE NITUMWESIGA,

RUTUKURA

kammyasyamyasya
kammurinkanya
ka'goondagoonda
keiruka.

kammurusyamurusya
ka'yetoroora
ka'shwarashwara
keiruka.

keirukanga
ka'muriinkanya
Ka'barabaruka
Keiruka.

Tigwaaba mugyera, bakanaabiiremu
Tigwaaba murabyo, bakaagutiinire
Tigwaaba muriro, bakaagwotsire
Tizaaba na'nsiriira, bakaazakize.

Kaaba rutukura
Kaaza burihamwe
Keijuza empaanga
Keiruka.

Babeiha ngu nikabi
ngu keine n'oburofa
Beiba ebyaako byoona
ngu tikeine buganzi
Baarya ebyokurya byaako
ngu nikagura zingahi
Bakireeba kaahwayo
ngu nikeenda obuyambi

Haza kataraaka
Katyo kaaguma
Kaacura kaaborooga
Kwonka kaahunama
Keiruka.

Ka'shondashonda
Ka'tonzyatonzya
Kashataguruka
Kaayebaziira
Keiruka

Ka'toonyatoonya
Kayetereeza
Kaayecureeza
Kaabaha amagara
Keiruka
Enfeerwa yaako bakigishumbusha
Ngu eshi nikatungwa ebyabusha

Patience Nitumwesiga
Uganda

RED

It twinkles
It glitters
It's frail
It flows.

It flashes
It wanders
It blushes
It flows

It runs
It glistens
It sparkles
It flows

It isn't a river, they would bathe in it
It isn't lightning, they would be scared
It isn't fire, they would sit by it
It isn't sparks, they would light them up

It is red
It is everywhere
It fills up valleys
It flows

They lie that it's ugly
and say it is unclean
They rob all it has
and say it has no honor
They eat its food
and ask for its price
And when it's broken
They say it needs help

O it scatters
Dear me, it endures
It screams and yells
Yet it remains silent
It flows

It picks all it can
It grieves
It explodes
It weaves its pieces together
It flows

It drips
It gathers its grip
It humbles itself
It gives them life
It flows.

when its loss is compensated
they say it thrives on favors.

Patience Nitumwesiga
Uganda



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Better At Dawn by Barbara Oketta


Better at dawn

When all is silent and the rhythm of the night takes control
And the whisper of your hoarse voice penetrates my being
And everything else does not matter
I say, better at dawn.
When the Chirrup of the birds
Is as distant as a dream,
And your embrace as cajoling as a baby’s stare.
And my hunger for you as desperate as a sneeze,
I say, better at dawn,
When the children are dead asleep
And the maid’s snore fills the house
And the neighbors’ dog
Provides the distraction-
Better at dawn.
Not in the morning when the cups and saucers clatter
And the fear of the school bus
As alive as dawn,
Or lunch time, when the sounds of the keyboard fill the space
As the boss shouts ‘today is the dead-line’
And there is hardly time to sing,
Or in the evening when the family is bustling
And the 9 o’clock news fills the T.V room
As the children run and unsettle everything
Knowing that family time is an unbroken tradition,
I say better at dawn
When the world is frozen
And the rhythm of our bodies much sweeter,
For then, only at dawn
Can I dance to our music?  

Barbara Oketta
Uganda


Published in A Thousand Voices Rising. Buy a copy in Kampala at 20,000/- during the 13t Februaru reading and get wordy cakes for free.

Monday, January 19, 2015

OEDIPUS REX: POEM BY ROTIMI BABATUNDE-PUBLISHED IN A THOUSAND VOICES RISING




Oedipus Rex: The Comedy

Daughter…

Listen:

Once upon a time

a cat

swirled like an iron vortex

whirled

as it chased around a narrowing spire

Curiosity’s tail

But Curiosity, the cat-killer, also swirling

was stretching for the cat’s tail

was looping around the vortex

tightening like a noose.

A requiem for the strangled cat,

(For dawn hangs nude the buried wombs,

the broods of gall and – ah! – screaming wounds).

Was I Medusa?

Was I Medusa reaching for a mirror?

Daughter, sister…

Listen:

But once upon a night

I was the billy goat humping my mum’s rump, our mum’s.

Until dawn dropped down – a conjurer from the east –

Scooped up the night with his hat of rays.

From it the goat jumped out a man – I.

So I was Orion.

I was Orion in night’s woods hunting for dawn.

The goat was the father of the man.

The man will be father of the god.

(For nine lives the cat has,

Nine stairs soaring to the stars.)

Have, child, this sacrament – my outplucked eyes.

Use them as spectacles in my memory.





Rotimi Babatunde (Winner of 2012 Caine Prize)

Nigeria



This poem was first published in Nigerians Talk.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: BN POETRY AWARD AWARD 2015-SUBMIT YOUR INVENTIVE AND ORIGINAL POEMS TODAY!


                  PRESS RELEASE-15 JANUARY 2015
2015 BN POETRY AWARD CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The BN Poetry Foundation is pleased to bring yet another exhilarating, stimulating platform for African poets world-wide. We strongly believe in rewarding great poetry where we can and so, we are filled with abundant enthusiasm as we send out our 2015 call. #BNPA2015
The submissions will be received from January 15 2015 to May 15 2015. By early July, we will send out a long-list and later a shortlist and the final winner will be announced during the 2015 BN Poetry Festival in Kampala in August. The winner receives 1,000 US Dollars and the top ten will receive publication, poetry mentorship and participate in various literary festivals. There will be an exclusive pull-out of our experienced judges on Monday 26 January.
Guidelines for submissions:
·         It is open to ALL African poets (living anywhere in the world), who will not have published (including self-publishing), a full-length collection of poetry by May 2015. By African we mean either born on the continent, citizen of an African country or with either one or both parents as citizens of an African country
·         Submissions should be previously unpublished, in English and not more than 40 lines each. Submit using Times New Roman, single-spaced and size 12. Local languages are accepted only if English translations are sent alongside them
·         Send a maximum of three poems and a minimum of one poem to bnpa2015@bnpoetryaward.co.ug as a word attachment. Include the poem’s title on the poem but DO NOT include your name or contact details on the poem itself
·         The subject line should read, “BNPA 2015”
·         Include your name, email address, country or birth and country of permanent residence, telephone number and the titles of your poems in the body of the email
·        The submissions will be accepted from January 15th to May 15th 2015 at 11:59pm Ugandan time
·         There is no theme, be as inventive and original as possible
·         The long-list will be announced by July 2015
·         For more details or for any inquiries, view the website at www.bnpoetryaward.co.ug, follow us on Twitter @BNPoetryAward or email bnpoetryaward@bnpoetryaward.co.ug

THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE 1,000 US DOLLARS. THE TOP 10 WINNERS WILL RECEIVE DEDICATED POETRY MENTORSHIP, PUBLICATION OF THEIR POEMS AND ALSO PARTICIPATE IN VARIOUS LITERARY FESTIVALS
There will be a special pull-out of our experienced Judges running from 26th January to 7th August 2015
OUR PARTNERS: