Romeo Oriogun

Romeo Oriogun on Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry 2024 shortlist

Romeo Oriogun’s poetry collection The Gathering of Bastards is on the shortlist for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry 2024 announced on July 1, 2024.

The Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry is awarded by Arrowsmith Press, in conjunction with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and The Walcott Festival in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Worth $2,000, it is awarded to a full-length book of poems by a living poet who is not a US citizen published in the previous calendar year. The prize money is shared by the poet and the translator where translations apply. The first winner was Julia Copus; Canisia Lubrin won it in 2021 while Saddiq Dzukogi got the nod in 2022. Tawanda Mulalu was on the shortlist last year.

This year’s prize is judged by Diane Mehta whose poetry, criticism, and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Agni, Kenyon Review, A Public Space, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, VQR, the Common, and the Paris Review Daily. With essays shortlisted for the Chatauqua prize and Pushcart Prize, her published titles include Tiny Extravaganzas (2023) and Forest with Castanets (2019).

The shortlist of eleven titles features;

  • Romeo Oriogun, The Gathering of Bastards, (University of Nebraska Press)

Oriogun said of the announcement, “So happy to announce that The Gathering of Bastards is on the shortlist for The Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry.”

The Gathering of Bastards is the sophomore offering of the Nigeria-born US-based poet. It “chronicles the movement of migrants as they navigate borders both internal and external. At the heart of these poems of vulnerability and sharp intelligence, the poet himself is the perpetual migrant embarked on forced journeys that take him across nations in West and North Africa, through Europe, and through American cities as he navigates the challenges of living through terror and loss and wrestles with the meaning of home.”

His previous work has won the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature and been nominated for numerous awards.

The winner will be announced on October 15, 2024.

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