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Book: Ikeogu Oke wins 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature

Ikeogu Oke, a poet, writer and journalist has won the 2017 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Prize for   Literature.
He won for his book ‘Th e Heresiad’ which was announced at a press conference yesterday To emerge the winner, Oke beat other longlisted authors; Obari Gomba (For Every Homeland), Jumoke Verissimo (Th e Birth of Illusion), Ogaga Ifowodo (A Good Mourning), Ebi Yeibo (Of Waters and the Wild), Peter Akinlabi (Iconography), Humphrey Ogu (Echoes of Neglect) and Tanure Ojaide (Songs of Myself: Quartet).
Others are Seun Lari-Williams (Garri for Breakfast), Peter Akinlabi (Iconography), Hyginus Ekwuazi (One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper), Abubakar Othman (Blood Streams in the Desert) and Jumoke Verissimo (Th e Birth of Illusion).
Described as operatic poetry, Oke’s book ‘Th e Heresiad’ is basically a poem extended over a hundred pages.
He will be presented a cash award of $100, 000 by virtue of his winning.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, the author of ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’, won the 2016 edition of the prize.
Ibrahim beat Chika Unigwe and Elnathan John, to win the biggest literary prize in Africa.
Also, the prize rotates among four genres – Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Children’s literature.
Th e most recent prize was in fiction and that prize went to Abubakar Adam Ibrahim who was feted for his book Seasons of Crimson Blossoms.
Other previous winners of this prize in the diff erent genres include Sam Ukala for his book Iredi War in 2014, Chika Unigwe for On Black Sisters’ Street in 2012, and Adeleke Adeyemi (Mai Nasara) for Th e Missing Clock in 2011.
Other winners were Esiaba Irobi for Cemetery Road in 2010, Kaine Agary for Yellow Yellow in 2008, and Ahmed Yerima for Hard Ground in 2006.
Th e last winner in the poetry was Tade Ipadeola for his collection Th e Sahara Testaments and this year we would be getting to know the new best poet.
Th at honour would go to Ikeogu Oke for his collection The Heresiad, published by Kraft Books which employs the epic form in questioning power and freedom.
Th e poet studied at the Universities of Ibadan and Nigeria.
His creative works include Salutes Without Guns, Th e Tortoise and the Princess, Th e Lion and the Monkey, In the Wings of Waiting and Where I was Born.

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