Abuja Writers Forum hosts poets on World Poetry Day

By GRACE AUDU, Abuja –

To mark this year’s World Poetry Day, the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF) is hosting an online conversation on March 21 from 6-8pm with some of Nigeria’s top poets.

AWF publicity secretary AD Dabra, who made it known in a statement, said the event, titled “Is the Nigerian Poet Relevant to Society?”, would feature Servio Gbadamosi. , Echenozachu Nduka, Tanure Ojaide and Olumide Olaniyan. .

According to Dabra, all four participated in the recent Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) poetry competition (English category) which was won by Obari Gomba.

Kabura Zakama, an award-winning poet and whose latest collection is CHANT OF THE ANGRY, will host the event accessible on Zoom via the following link – Meeting Id 864 7706 7081 and Passcode 679896.

Servio Gbadamosi, who is also an editor, is a recipient of the 2016 Ebedi International Writers Residency Fellowship where he co-wrote the chapbook, A Half-Formed Thing, with fellow residents Ehi’zogie Iyeoman and Ikechukwu Nwaogu. Her poetry collection, A Tributary in Servitude (WriteHouse Collective, 2015), won the Nigerian Writers Association Poetry Prize in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2018.


Her second collection of poetry, Where the Light Enters You (Noirledge Publishing, 2021) was recently shortlisted for the Pan African Writers Association’s first poetry prize. Gbadamosi’s work has been published online as well as in print journals, newspapers and anthologies such as The Guardian, The Nigerian Tribune, The Nation Newspaper, Nigerian NewsDirect, ANA Review 2017, ANA Review 2018, ANA Review 2019, SỌ̀RỌ̀SÓKÈ : An #EndSars Anthology, Crossroads: Anthology of Poems in Honor of Christopher Okigbo, Fela’s Re-arrangement: A Collage of the Poetic Biography of Nigeria’s Folkhero of Afrobeat Music and The Sky is Our Earth: Anthology of Fifty Young Nigerian Poets. He co-edited the poetry collections, The Promise this Time was Not a Flood: A Sevhage Anthology of Flood Poems and Salt of the Heart: Anthology of Poems for Nigeria at 50.

Echezonachukwu Nduka, also a classical pianist, is the author of Chrysanthemums for Wide-eyed Ghosts (Griots Lounge: 2018) and Waterman (Griots Lounge: 2020). He obtained university degrees in music from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Kingston University, London.


Her debut collection of poetry Chrysanthemums for Wide-eyed Ghosts was recently shortlisted for the Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) Poetry Prize. Echezonachukwu Nduka’s poetry often focuses on the intersections of memory, history, music, religion, metaphysics, and the everyday. Her poetry has appeared in The Indianapolis Review, Bombay Review, Kissing Dynamite, Jalada Africa, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, among others.

Besides poetry, Olumide Olaniyan is also a satirist, historian and social scientist. He is the author of two poetry collections, Lucidity of Absurdity (2017) and Akimbo in Limbo (2021). Selected poems from the works are used to teach contemporary African literature in some higher institutions in Nigeria.


His first collection, Lucidity of Absurdity, was reviewed in the Keffi International Journal of Science and Humanities; a number of university students have also examined the collection in their final year research from the perspective of ecocriticism, post-colonialism and social theory. Other electronic literary journals that have assessed his works include Dugwe published by the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF), Geek Afrique, Anotearthhub, Intervention.ng and BookArtVille magazine. Olaniyan’s poem “Behind Closed Doors” won the inaugural Communicators League Creative Writing Competition in 2017. A number of his poems, including “Déjà vu”, “Succubus” and “Drowning Fish ” have been adapted into community dramas and performed. in hard to reach communities to promote the arts, inclusivity and participation. Another poem, “One Sojourn of the Moon”, received an honorary mention at the Mandela Day Poetry Competition, 2016. His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies inside and outside Nigeria. Her recent work, Akimbo in Limbo, was shortlisted for the 2022 Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) Poetry Prize.

Olaniyan’s involvement in creative writing spans three decades; in the early 1990s, he wrote news for tabloids and weekly magazines, including the Lagos Weekend, then a publication of the Daily Times of Nigeria and HINTS magazine. “Friday the 13th”, a short story by Olaniyan that appeared in the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos Anthology – Twenty Nigerian Writers in 1993. Olaniyan’s works are saturated with historicism, eco-criticism, absurdism, phenomenology and related human conditions, through which he pushes for a reworking of the skewed social structure fueled by unjust power relations and social construction in modern society.

Educated at the universities of Ibadan and Syracuse, Tanure Ojaide quietly became the godfather of a kind of Nigerian poetry. He has published self-authored and co-authored poetry collections, novels, short story collections, memoirs, and scholarly books. Ojaide’s awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region, the All Africa Okigbo Poetry Prize and the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Prize.


He won the First Citizens Bank Scholar Medal Award from UNC Charlotte in 2005. In 2016 he won both the African Literature Association Folon-Nichols Prize for Excellence in Writing and the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for Humanities. In 2018, he co-winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. He has won the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, the Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship twice, and the Carnegie African Diaspora Program Fellowship twice. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.

Ojaide is currently the Frank Porter Graham Professor of African Studies at UNC Charlotte. Since its inception in 2008, the Abuja Writers Forum has positioned itself as a pioneering literary organization in Nigeria with groundbreaking events such as the Guest Writers Session which has become a national model, the Critics Session, the Literary Festival of ‘Abuja, a variety of writing workshops and the publication of two literary journals – Cavalcade and Dugwe which launched the literary careers of several Nigerian writers.