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Words Rhymes & Rhythm (WRR) is now receiving entries for the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) SEASON III, 2017 (April edition). Poets from Nigeria, Africa and all over the world are hereby invited to submit their poems on the theme: ‘KNOWING SELF: THE MENTAL HEALTH SILENCE’

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

According to WHO “about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Similar types of disorders are being reported across cultures. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.


Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. Unfortunately, “misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread” and this has led to many people maintaining the silence about mental health, to the detriment of the larger society. It is a fact that mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to the over 800,000 suicide death recorded worldwide annually.

Poets are therefore invited to submit poems that highlight this and related sub-themes

Entries will be received until 11:59 PM FRIDAY APRIL 28, 2017.


Prize to be won:


  1. Contestants are invited to submit one poem on the theme ‘‘KNOWING SELF: THE MENTAL HEALTH SILENCE?’’ (expanded to include the following sub-themes – suicide, depression, loneliness, social change, family, emotions etc)
  2. Submissions should be sent to SUBMISSIONS@WRR.NG
  3. All entries must be the original work of the poet submitting it
  4. No ATTACHMENTS. Please submit poem and other details as body of mail
  5. The CONTESTANT NAME, CONTEST MONTH, & POEM TITLE must be mentioned clearly, as the subject of the e-mail. For example: ‘Abubakar Nnamdi Adekunle, BPPC March 2017, ‘POLY-TRICKS OF TICKS’
  6. The maximum length of the poem should be 28 lines (plus the title). Poems exceeding this length will be disqualified
  7. Authors must provide their full names and Facebook ID [for identification]and a 50-100 word biography in the body of the e-mail
  8. Submission deadline is 11:59 PM FRIDAY APRIL 28, 2017.

Note that:

  1. Poems containing profanity, racism or vulgarity will be automatically disqualified
  2. The poems will be judged based on their artistic quality and creativit
  3. The judges’ decision is final and under no circumstances will they enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions
  4. The copyright of each submission remains with its owner but we retain the right to publish ALL and ANY entry in the annual BPPC anthology
  5. Poets resident in any part of the world are eligible
  6. No entry fee required
  7. Past winners may enter for the competition, but a poet can only one once in a calendar year (Season). If a past winner makes the TOP 10, the poems will ONLY be awarded a certificate and be featured in the anthology.

A Zoology student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Izuchukwu Saviour Otubelu, won the March 2017 edition with his poem ‘PREACHER, PREACHER’.

The BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC), a brainchild of Words Rhymes & Rhythm (WRR), is a monthly writing contest aimed at rewarding the under-appreciated talent of young Nigerian poets. It was instituted in February 2015 in honor of Brigitte Poirson, a French poet and lecturer, editor, who has over the years worked assiduously to promote and support of African poetry. Now in its third season, and being one of the few credible contests, the BPPC has since grown to be one of country’s most popular, especially among the younger poets.


The overall winner of the SEASON III (February to September 2017) will be awarded the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize (AJPP) 2017. Kanyinsola Olorunnisola won the prize in 2016.

Kukogho Iruesiri Samson