En­tries open for Saro-Wiwa Prize for Book Re­view

Sunday Trust - - ARTS & IDEAS - By Nathaniel Bi­van

En­tries are now open for the 2017 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Book Re­view. This is in con­tin­u­a­tion of a legacy pro­ject that the Com­mit­tee for Rel­e­vant Art (CORA), pro­mot­ers of the an­nual La­gos Book and Art Fes­ti­val (LABAF) launched in 2015.

This year’s LABAF, from Novem­ber 6 to12, is ded­i­cated to hon­our­ing the il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer of the em­i­nent poet and teacher, Pro­fes­sor Niyi Osun­dare. The fo­cus of this year’s con­test is to bring greater at­ten­tion to his work, espe­cially those that ad­dress co­gent and rel­e­vant is­sues in the so­cio-po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural af­fairs of Nigeria, and the con­ti­nent.

To qual­ify, a con­tes­tant must have read and writ­ten re­views of any four of the fol­low­ing books by Osun­dare: Songs from the Mar­ket­place (1983), Vil­lage Voices (1984), The Eye of the Earth (1986), Moon­songs (1988), Songs of the Season (1999) and Wait­ing Laugh­ters (1990). Oth­ers are Midlife (1993), The Word is an Egg (2002), Early Birds (2004), Tender Mo­ments: Love Po­ems (2006), City With­out Peo­ple: The Katrina Po­ems (2011) and Ran­dom Blues (2011).

The re­view, which is open to ev­ery­one, must not have been pub­lished else­where and sent on or be­fore Oc­to­ber 30, 2017. The win­ner will re­ceive N100, 000 prize money and will be pub­lished in the me­dia and in rep­utable lit­er­a­ture jour­nals.

A short­list of three fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced at the CORA Book Trek in Novem­ber, be­ing the flagoff of the 2017 LABAF, hosted by the Bri­tish Coun­cil, La­gos. Win­ners will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 11 dur­ing the fes­ti­val’s party with Pro­fes­sor Osun­dare as spe­cial guest.

The pro­ject is designed to fur­ther a key ob­jec­tive of the LABAF, which is deep­en­ing the cul­ture of read­ing and en­gage­ment of con­tent of lit­er­ary works, par­tic­u­larly fic­tion, drama, poetry and non-fic­tion, as well as all the gen­res where the late au­thor, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist and polemi­cist, Ken Saro-Wiwa ex­celled in his life­time and writ­ing ca­reer.

The prize pro­ject was ded­i­cated to mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the state killing of Saro-Wiwa, him­self a keen ob­server, com­men­ta­tor on and cri­tique of the qual­ity of lit­er­a­ture be­ing pro­duced in the country while he was alive.

Niyi Osun­dare

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