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Nigerian-Canadian poet and filmmaker Bayowa Ayomide Michael is the first-place winner of the JUNE/JULY 2021 edition of the bi-monthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC). Serial BPPC finalist Hussani Abdulrahim moved up one spot to 2nd place from the last edition while Akinlua Oluwaseun Mercy, a Bowen University medical student, completes the top three. Themed ‘TELL TALL TALES’, the June/July edition sought fun-filled poetic yarn​s with humorous or sensational twists.

The winning poem, NOT ALL FATHERS LEAVE, adopts a near-vernacular diction and language to deliver the poet’s perspective which is both a humorous and valid analysis of a critical social issue. Hussani’s MELANIN GIRL features perfectly woven hyperbolic metaphors and images that are warm on the mind. The genius of history and culture in humorous verse is what ‘Akinlua’s DEITIES DONT SMILE delivers in twenty-seven deliciously original lines.

BPPC awards ₦30,000 in prize money shared among the top three entries The other poets in the top 10 of this edition are Zaynab Titilayo Abodunrin, Inyang, Inimfon Kufre, Eniola Abdulroqeeb Arówólò, Ariyo Ahmad, Nnadi Samuel, Olayinka Samson Aremu and Ogedengbe Tolulope Impact. The top 10 poems are automatically entered for the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize (AJPP) 2021.

The TOP 20 poems of the edition are published in a chapbook titled ‘NOT EVERY FATHER LEAVES’.


BAYOWA AYOMIDE MICHAEL is a Nigerian-Canadian poet, filmmaker and student of Theatre Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Toronto, Canada. Bayowa was longlisted for the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2018 and shortlisted for both the Eriata Oribabhor Poetry Prize (EOPP) 2018 and the 2019 Christopher Okigbo Interuniversity Poetry Prize. In 2020 he was the runner-up of the On-Spot Poetry Writing Contest and winner of the 2020 Open Drawer Poetry Contest. He was the runner-up of the University of Toronto “ELLY-IN-ACTION” Virtual Competition 2021. His works are forthcoming in Guesthouse, Barren Magazine, Kalahari Review, and Agbowo.

class="has-black-color has-text-color has-background" style="background-color:#93f0c9">HUSSANI ABDULRAHIM, a Pure Chemistry graduate from Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, is the winner of the 2019 Poetically Written Prose Contest. A semi-finalist for Boston Review’s 2019 Aura Estrada Short Story Contest and shortlisted for the 2019 ACT Award. His works have appeared at Boston Review, 20:35 Africa, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere. He believes that words have the power to heal the world of its numerous ills.

AKINLUA OLUWASEUN MERCY is a poet and aspiring author who appreciates African fiction and poetry. She is currently a medical student of the prestigious Bowen University Iwo, Nigeria. Akinlua is an African rebirth pan-Africanism enthusiast, who is passionate about making her voice heard through her works and helping others to do the same. She’s a YALI network member.

The BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST is a writing contest aimed at rewarding the under-appreciated talent of young Nigerian poets. It was instituted in February 2015 in honour of Brigitte Poirson, a French poet and lecturer, editor, who has over the years worked assiduously to promote and support African poetry. The BPPC is one of Nigeria’s most popular, especially among the younger poets.