We are delighted to unveil the distinguished winners of the inaugural Brigitte Poirson Literature Prize (BPLP) 2023. Formerly known as the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Prize, this year’s edition expanded to include short fiction, fostering a richer literary landscape and rewarding more Nigerian creatives.
After a meticulous judging process spanning three rounds, the following authors emerged victorious:
Short Fiction Category: Joint Winners
- Divine Inyang Titus with “The Nights I Carry”
- Elisha Oluyemi with “A Tract of Alien Things”
The judges found both submissions equally captivating, showcasing masterful storytelling that left an indelible impression. The decision to declare joint winners reflects the exceptional creative talent demonstrated by Divine Inyang Titus and Elisha Oluyemi.
Poetry Category: Winner
- Opeyemi Mensah Felix Bello with “Storied Resonance”
Opeyemi Mensah Felix Bello’s powerful and evocative verses resonated deeply with the judges, demonstrating exceptional artistry and depth.
As joint winners of the Short Story Category, Divine Inyang Titus and Elisha Oluyemi will share the $150 prize money. In the Poetry Category, Opeyemi Mensah Felix Bello will receive the full $150 award.
All winning entries, including the shortlisted works, will be featured in the BPLP 2023 anthology which will be published in the first quarter of 2024. Additionally, each winner will have the exclusive opportunity to publish an electronic chapbook, showcasing their talent to a wider audience. This offer encompasses professional editing, layout, and e-publishing for a collection of up to 50 pages.
Meet the Winners
- Divine Inyang Titus is a Nigerian writer navigating the challenges of his mid-20s while residing in his mother’s house in the Kogi hinterlands. He clinched victory in the STCW Future Folklore Climate Fiction Contest in 2021 and is the author of the chapbook “A Beautiful Place To Be Born.” His stories and poems have been featured or are forthcoming in esteemed publications such as Brittle Paper, Agbowo, The Ex-Puritan Magazine, Blue Marbles Review, The Parliament Literary Journal, The Shallow Tales Review, and others.
- Elisha Oluyemi is a Yorùbá writer who emerged triumphant in the 2022 Lagos-HCAF Writing Contest (Prose) and secured the position of 1st runner-up in the 2022 Shuzia Flash Fiction Contest. As the Editor-in-chief at Fiery Scribe Review, he played a pivotal role in co-editing the PROFWIC Crime Fiction Anthology, Vol. 1, and provided mentorship in the 2023 SprinNG Writing Fellowship. His writings and conversations have graced, or are slated for inclusion in, notable platforms such as the 2023 Mukana Press Anthology of African Writing, Broken Antler, LYRA, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Mystery Tribune, Isele Magazine, Terror House, Sledgehammer, Brittle Paper, Salamander Ink, Stripes, and more.
- Opeyemi Mensah Felix Bello, an aspiring poet who doubles as a public-sector lawyer, holds licenses to practice in Nigeria, New York State, and Alberta. A product of OAU Ile-Ife, Sciences Po – Paris, and Harvard Law School, he is proficient in Yoruba, Guèn, English, and French. Born in Lagos, he currently resides in Edmonton.
Congratulations to Divine Inyang Titus, Elisha Oluyemi, and Opeyemi Mensah Felix Bello on their well-deserved victories in the Brigitte Poirson Literature Prize 2023.
- Discover the BPLP 2023 longlist here and the shortlist here.
- For details about the BPLP 2023 call for submission, click here.
- For more information about the history of the BPLP, please visit here and here.
- To learn about the BPLP 2023 panel of judges, click here.