30 November 2018

Nigerian Writer Wins Prestigious Poetry Award

A Nigerian writer, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, has won the New Hampshire Institute of Art's 2018 Writing Award: Narratives in Prose, Poetry.

The NHIA writing program is centered on the idea of deeply examining stories that effectively communicate an idea in any genre. This year, NHIA requested submissions from new and emerging writers looking to network with the literary community.

The award committee included MFA writing director Monica Bilson, administrative director of graduate studies and writing faculty Beth Ann Miller and dean of graduate studies, Lucinda bliss.

They received submissions from all over the world and after a blind peer review, selected the winner and two finalists.

As winner, Mr. Ezenwa-Ohaeto wins a $100,000 prize money among other perks.

Recently, he won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem, 2018.

On the choice of winner, the organizers said, "We picked Chinua's poetry as the winner because of its distinct voice and idiosyncratic use of language."

"Each stanza has a surprise in it, whether it's an unusual metaphor or striking image. His poetry makes you see everyday life through new eyes. The committee also picked two finalists, Amber Burke for her short story, "What's Left" and NHIA alumnus and Admissions Officer, Mathew Gile, for his poem, "Make a Pincer."

"We had no idea the winner lives in Nigeria and one of the finalists was in the building next door until the judging process was over, but we are very pleased with the results!," Bilson added.

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