The winner of the SEPTEMBER 2019 edition of the monthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC) for young writers is Anuoluwa Olusegun Soneye, a student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. Themed ‘WOMEN, POWER, SOCIETY’, the edition called for poems appraising the role of women in (modern) society.
Soneye’s explorative poem ‘WOMAN IS WHAT WE NEED’ rebuked patriarchy in modern society and was clearly the winning entry. In second place is ‘A NEW WORLD’ by Ebubechukwu Nwagbo while ‘A WOMAN’S PLACE’ by serial finalist Ogedengbe Tolulope Impact came third.
Presently a final year student of English Language at OAU, Soneye authored the poetry chapbook ‘The Silence in a Dying Man’s Farewell’.
Below is the winning poem:
WOMAN IS WHAT WE NEED BY ANUOLUWA OLUSEGUN SONEYE
You say she is not made of thick skins and metal bones.
You fear her legs may tremble at the sight of sticks and stones.
You say her will is feeble and her resolve is frail.
A little sabotage, a little counteract, and she resorts to a bottle of ale.
But she is Woman!
Alone, she bore the burden of birth
For nine months. There is none like it on Earth.
But how easily you forget that, when it comes to power!
You tell her "get a place in the kitchen to cower"!
You say she is an egg of emotions with dents and deep cracks,
She cannot handle politics and diplomatic pacts,
Her space is in a garden of daffodils,
She holds no skills to tender to bills.
But she is Woman!
She has learnt the craft of patience, pleasure and pain..
The way she holds to chest the little schoolboy in the rain!
The agony that runs through her nerves, tearing through her windpipe,
When man does not have the strength to stand to observe!
But you say she is Woman, weak.
You fail to see she is Woman, unique
in all her ways and her touch,
tender and firm, careful and not rough.
We tend to the lesions from where we bleed
to clean this corruption and poverty.
You do not see that Woman is what we need!
READ ALL THE TOP 30 POEMS IN “WOMAN IS WHAT WE NEED“ CHAPBOOK. DOWNLOAD BELOW:
Soneye will receive the N8000 prize money and, alongside the other TOP 10 finalists from February to September 2019, will be automatically entered for the 2019 ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE (AJPP) in addition to receiving a certificate and a copy of the BPPC 2019 anthology at the Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival 2018. All the top 10 poems for the 2019 Season will be published in the BPPC 2019 anthology while the top 30 poems are featured in ‘WOMAN IS WHAT WE NEED’ chapbook. The finalists will also each receive certificates at the Words Rhymes & Rhythm Literary Festival held in December every year.