Romeo Oriogun from Nigeria has been named winner of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize for his “beautiful and deeply passionate” writing on masculinity and desire in the face of LGBT criminalisation and persecution.
Now in its fifth year, the £3,000 major poetry prize is aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. It is open to African poets worldwide who have not yet published a full poetry collection.
The judges were unanimous this year in their decision that among a shortlist of ten stunning new poets, selected from nearly 1,200 entries, Oriogun – who only begun writing three years ago – should receive the prize.
The judges said: “Romeo Oriogun is a hugely talented, outstanding, and urgent new voice in African poetry. His poetry is wide ranging but at its heart are deeply passionate, shocking, imaginative, complex and ultimately beautiful explorations of masculinity, sexuality and desire in a country that does not recognise LGBT rights. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Oriogun lives and writes in Udi, a small town in Eastern Nigeria. His poems have been featured in Brittle Paper, African Writer, Expound, Praxis, and others. He is the author of Burnt Men, an electronic chapbook published by Praxis Magazine online.
Congratulations, Romeo! We’re super proud of you! We’ll be talking with him soon. Stay around!
Download the winning chapbook here: Burnt Men by Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun