Saturday, October 15, 2022

Romeo Oriogun (MFA '21) has won the Nigeria Prize For Literature for his second collection, Nomad (Griots Lounge Publishing Nigeria, 2021). 

Romeo Oriogun
Romeo Oriogun

The Nigeria Prize for Literature annually honors a published book by a Nigerian writer in a specific genre under review. It runs on a four-year cycle between the genre categories of Prose Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Children’s Literature. For the 2022 cycle on Poetry, the Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, announced Nomad, by Romeo Oriogun as the winner. This is the first time that a writer of the younger generation or an openly queer writer has won the award.

With a cash prize of $100,000, this award is regarded as one of the world’s richest literary prizes. Oriogun has announced that he will be sharing ten percent of his winnings with the other two finalists, Saddiq Dzukogi and Su’eddie Vershima Agema.

According to the judges,

“The 67 poems in the collection were held together by a travel motif, marshalled in each poem with equal intensity, and linked to the African past, including the Middle Passage, and the African future."

Romeo Oriogun is a Nigerian poet and essayist. He is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (University of Nebraska, 2020) and three chapbooks. He won the 2017 edition of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, as well as The Future Awards African Prize for Literature. His poems have appeared in Poetry Foundation, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Narrative Magazine, The New Yorker, and others. He is currently a Creative Writing Postdoc Fellow at Iowa State University.