Ayokunle Samuel Betiku, Osho Tunde and Yvonne Nezianya are the winners of the 9th edition of the annual Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize, EOPP 2020. Judged by Su’eddie Vershima Agema, Funke Awodiya, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom and Jide Badmus, this year’s edition of the prize awards ₦100,000 in cash prize to the top three poems.
‘BEYOND THE VEIL OF WALLS’ by Ayokunle Samuel Betiku is the overall best poem out of almost five hundred eligible entries. The second-placed poem is ‘SEARCHING THROUGH THE HEAVENS’ by Osho Tunde while Yvonne Nezianya’s ‘DEATHLESS EYES’ completes the top three.
EOPP 2020 winner, Ayokunle, will receive ₦50,000 while runners-up Osho and Nezianya will get ₦30,000 and ₦20,000 respectively.
Other poets who made the Top 20 shortlist are Tukur Ridwan, Ehi-Kowochio Ogwiji, Idio Phebe Ehikowoicho, Nnadi Samuel Ifeanyi, Abdulbaseet Yusuff, Olaitan Universe (2), Offor, Wisdom Ogbonna Ebuka Evans, Oluwatosin Ayobami, Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi, Chisom Charles Nnanna, Blessing Omeiza Ojo, Rahma O. Jimoh, Aiyejinna Abraham O. (2) and Pamilerin Jacob. All the top 20 poems are featured in an anthology titled BEYOND THE VEIL OF WALLS after the winning entry.
Ayokunle Samuel Betiku writes from the city of Ondo, South-West Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in journals and anthologies, including Kalahari Review, African Writer, Lunaris Review, Ngiga Review, Praxis, Libretto, Kreative Diadem, Shallow Tales Review, Pandemic Publications & elsewhere.
Osho Tunde is a graduate of Accounting and a writer who turns to poetry to bear witness to the joy and sadness within his body. His haiku recently made the Babishai Niwe haiku 2020 longlist. His works are up and forthcoming in Praxis, CỌ́N-SCÌÒ, Erogospel, The Quills, Independence Anthology of Poems, Rape Anthology by Society of Young Nigerian writers and elsewhere.
Yvonne Nezianya is a Nigerian writer. Her short story, Wonders of Spirits, was shortlisted for the K and L Prize 2020. A nominee for the Young Writers and Creatives Award, her works have appeared and are forthcoming in Glass Poetry, The Roadrunner Review, The Rising Phoenix Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Afritondo, Sub-Saharan Magazine, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere.
EOPP was instituted in 2012 as an annual Prize to give a much-needed attention to Nigerian poetry and encourage young Nigerian poets to use poetry as a tool for social change. The yearly contest has become the leading platform for the discovery, encouragement, and celebration of poets in Nigeria. David Okafor won the 2019 edition of the prize.
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