The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation Team has announced two 2016 poetry awards for African writers.
According to Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, the founder of the Babishai Niwe (BN) Poetry Awards, the two categories are; The Babishaiku 2016 Poetry Award and the Babishai 2016 Poetry Award Second Category.
The Babishaiku category will centre on Africa themed haiku i.e. haiku about African sights and sounds.
“Haiku must contain clear images, settings and juxtaposition. Haiku must be concise and as brief as possible (though 17 syllable haiku are welcome),” Nambozo says.
“In short, we encourage experimental haiku and but submissions should be three- line haiku structure or form. Please note one single haiku cannot contain all the highlighted features above, and hence are to be used as mere guidelines.”
This award is open to all African poets (living in Africa), who will not have published a full-length collection of poetry by May 2016.
She says a writer who submits [between February 29th to May 22nd 2016] in this category will not be eligible to submit for the second category.
“The top three winners will receive 150 USD each and participate in the 2016 Babishaiku mentorship programme.”
This category will be judged by Adjei Agyei-Baah, the co-founder of Africa Haiku Network and Poetry Foundation Ghana.
He also doubles as the co-editor of “The Mamba”, the official haiku journal of Africa Haiku Network.
Adjei is an inventor and a champion of “Afriku” (African Haiku) – an avant-garde haiku type that focuses on the unique images, sounds and settings of Africa.
The Babishai 2016 Poetry Award Second Category is also open to all African poets (living anywhere in the world), who will not have published a full-length collection of poetry by May 2016.
It is open in terms of theme and the top two winners will receive 700 USD and 300 USD respectively.
“The top ten will be part of the 2016 Babishai mentorship programme and participate in various festivals across the world,” Nambozo noted.
Stephen Partington and Isaac Tibasiima will judge this category.
Stephen Derwent Partington has been published widely in various anthologies and also, published in; . Two collections, one in Kenya (SMS and Face to Face) and one from the UK (How to Euthanise a Cactus).
Isaac Tibasiima on the other hand is a Doctoral Researcher and Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Makerere University.
He has previously taught in the Department of Languages at Uganda Martyrs University.
His research interests are in oral and written African Poetry in general and Ugandan poetry in particular.