Professor Tanure Ojaide, Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, has emerged one of the three finalists for the 2017 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Ojaide’s entry, Songs of myself: Quartet, was shortlisted for the Nigeria LNG-sponsored $100,000 Literature Prize, alongside A Good Mourning written by Ogaga Ifowodo, and The Heresiad by Ikeogu Oke.
This followed an initial shortlist of eleven released in July by the Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo-led Advisory Board.
A statement by the General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria LNG Limited, stated that The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.
The 2017 Prize is for poetry and comes with a cash prize of $100,000, the statement added.
It revealed that a total of 184 entries for the prize were received this year, while next year’s prize will be for drama.
The statement quoted Professor Emeritus Banjo to have declared that the eventual winner of the competition would be announced at a World Press Conference in October, 2017.
Ojaide’s Songs of myself: Quartet, published by Kraft Books Ltd, explores paradoxes in contemporary times presented in discursive lyricism. It reflects the journey to the deepest vicissitudes of the adventurer himself.
Ojaide, who was awarded by the President of Nigeria, the 2016 Nigerian National Order of Merit in Humanities, is a Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa. He has won several awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region, the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry, the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award and the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Award.
In a congratulatory message, the Vice-Chancellor, Kwara State University, Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, said KWASU is greatly honoured by Ojaide’s excellent feat.