THE Rainbow Book Club (RBC) will on Sunday, September 18, 2022, hold a grand reception in Port Harcourt for the three shortlisted poets for The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2022. The event is in conjunction with Nigeria LNG Limited, sponsors of The Nigeria Prize for Literature. The three shortlisted poets – Su’eddie Vershima Agema (Memory and the Call of Waters), Romeo Oriogun (Nomad), and Saddiq Dzukogi (Your Crib, My Qibla) – are in contention for the USD$100,000 worth prize. The highly anticipated occasion is a hybrid event, and will kick off at 2pm prompt.
The one-day Port Harcourt Book Festival has as theme ‘Conversations in the Garden City.’ The reception for the shortlisted poets promises three hours of enthralling literary fireworks. It will feature appraisal of the shortlisted poets and their books, readings, reviews, stage performances, and a quiz with prizes for winners on sight and online.
“The choice of Port Harcourt to host the final shortlisted poets before an eventual winner is announced is strategic given the pivotal role the Garden City plays in the Nigerian oil and gas sector,” said Founder and CEO of Rainbow Book Club, Koko Kalango. The writer and festival director also stressed that since Port Harcourt is the headquarters of the prize sponsor, Nigeria LNG Limited, hosting the poets in the city is therefore synonymous with bringing Africa’s biggest literary prize back to its roots.
The artistic fiesta is intended to invigorate literary passion in the Garden City, according to Kalango, adding, “it is also aimed at facilitating reader-writer interaction and enhancing reading culture. This is subsequent to a similar event for the initial 11 longlisted poets, a Book Party, organised by the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) that held on August 9, 2022 at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
It could be recalled that after the Book Party, a list of three poets was announced by the judges on August 26, 2022. The Port Harcourt outing will see the writers converge in Nigeria’s Garden City where they will meet and dialogue with a different audience for further creative stimulation.
The Rainbow Book Club (RBC) is a non-profit organization (NGO) that encourages reading for social development. RBC, a UNESCO club, is part of the Rainbow Foundation that successfully hosted the year-long UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 project in Port Harcourt, making it the first city in sub-Saharan Africa to win the prestigious literacy campaign award.
With the 2022 edition focusing on poetry, The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, to promote and reward excellence in writing, rotates yearly amongst four literary genres of prose, poetry, drama and children’s literature. This year’s winner will be announced in October.