Do you write poems, or do you just enjoy reading them? Or both? If your answer is yes to any of these questions above, then you might also be wondering where you can find poetry works in Nigeria? to read poems without abandon while finding places to share yours.
There are poetry books you can buy, poetry websites you can visit, and poetry competitions in Nigeria to join if you are feeling confident.
And on days when you are having mood swings or you just want to reinvigorate your life, there are poetry quotes you can look up to make you feel better.
Poetry in Nigeria is held with special decorum, reading the poetry works will leave you in awe. And sometimes reading Nigerian poetry is like visiting an old past, as it is very historic and traditional.
Nigerian poetry talks about great adventures, history, kings, palaces, deserts, jungles, villages, city life, and people. You cannot have a more diverse range of topics.
Some of the best written poetry books recognized around the world for their beauty and sophistication were authored by Nigerian writers and poets.
You may be familiar with the name Chinua Achebe, he published lots of poems and novels and contributed much to African literature. He is a top poet in this country.
"Art is man's constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him." – Chinua Achebe
Superprof has put together everything you need to know to carry on as an aficionado of poetry in Nigeria, why don't we begin with poetry competitions?
Where To Find Poetry Competitions In Nigeria
Poetry contests come in different shapes and sizes, there are competitions just for kids, ones for secondary school students, and ones reserved for published authors only, and plenty others.
The criteria to enter these contests are often defined by age, the level at school, and published or unpublished works.
You need to get as much information about a poetry prize before trying to participate in it.
If you want to join a poetry competition in Nigeria you should probably start with your local area or region, it is easier to find one there, and joining it wouldn't be much of a hassle.
Their rules are more relaxed and people of different backgrounds and ages can join.
Besides, if you win, you will make a name for yourself, and then you will easily be invited to participate in more prestigious prizes.
Here are the top three places to find poetry contests in Nigeria:
Local restaurants and open bars – Some restaurants host poetry nights and other interesting events to increase the number of people who turn up in their restaurants.
This is especially popular in the big cities Lagos and Abuja. They host competitions every once in a while.
Scout online poetry contests – There are thousands of online poetry contests being held every day. Some with cash prizes some without.
Check out allpoetry.com for hundreds of daily online poetry contests.
Join writing clubs – You will be notified of poetry writing contests because of your membership to the group or clubs. This is also a way of contributing to society since you are supporting its art and culture.
Best Poetry Contests In Nigeria
Being victorious in a poetry competition can be very rewarding, some pay winners in the hundreds of thousands of Naira to over a Million Naira.
Here are some of the best ones in this country.
Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSSPP)
This poetry prize is open to students of any tertiary institution, i.e. universities and other higher institutions. Founded some decades back at the University of Ibadan.
It is hosted by an organization called PIN or Poets In Nigeria and it is quite popular in the country.
They receive more than one thousand entries each year.
Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Prize For Poetry
This organization has a great media reach, and the likelihood of hearing about their contests in the news is high.
ANA is pretty much into anything literary, including poetry contests. Any 18-year-old Nigerian is eligible to enter the competition.
This is a type of poetry contest where the contestants face-off each other in a battle of words. It is very intense and keeps one on the edge. It is very similar to a rap battle, but for poetry.
Verses flow freely and the winner is usually decided by the audience or the crowd listening.
This is popularly done in small event centers and cafes and restaurants around town. You may be able to find one near you. So far, one of the most attended is Mr Olumide's War Of Words.
For more poetry contests in Nigeria, click here.
Poetry Books In Nigeria That Will Be Worth Your Time
It is often the best feeling in the world, reading a poetry book. A really good book tends to cut deep into your soul.
Some may even bring you to tears, if you think prose fiction is moving, then wait till you try a poetry book.
Poetry books are often a collection of a single writer's poems and are appropriately called poetry collections or a collection of poems.
Those books that contain poems by several poets can also be called a collection but it is often referred to as a poetry anthology.
Anthologies usually contain published works around the same theme.
Looking for poetry books to spend your time reading? Here are some of the right Nigerian poetry books for you.
Best Poetry Books In Nigeria
Clinical Blues, by Dami Ajayi
A hospital is a place where grief is felt very strongly.
Emotions rise and fall in the hospital as family relatives welcome the birth of a new member or mourn the loss of a late one.
Clinical Blues is a heart-touching work by Dami Ajayi that inspires those feelings, it is written to reflect life in the hospital, hence the name clinical.
Although clinic life is the major topic of the book, it also talks about common life in Nigeria in some of the poems.
Sahara Testaments, by Tade Ipadeola
This award-winning poetry collection is considered one of Nigeria's National Treasures.
It highlights living in the arid desert of Africa and uses word construct that brings the Sahara to life.
Sonnets, By William Shakespeare
To digress to one of the classics, William Shakespeare's collection of sonnets is a magnificent book to read.
Mostly about love, the legendary Shakespeare was the inventor of this form of poetry, namely the sonnet.
It comprises of 14 lines that all rhyme in couplets, except for the last two lines/verses, their rhymes are the same.
Finding The Best Poetry Websites In Nigeria
Most poetry websites rely on a community of poets to contribute contents. Often in the thousands or millions of users.
New poems, famous poems, the classics (such as William Shakespeare's Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Da?), free-verse, contemporary poems such as Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman, and so on.
You will all find them waiting for you on poetry websites. They are a great source of English language poems for you to read.
List Of Nigerian Poetry Websites
Many famous people enjoy poetry just as much as anyone does, and some of them have mentioned a few words regarding it.
Here are our top favourite quotes about Poetry.
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” – Cassandra Clare
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S. Eliot
“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” – W.H. Auden
“One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.” – Niyi Osundare
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen
“Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.” – Aristotle
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S Eliot
“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” –William Wordsworth
Want to read more poetry quotes? Here are some of the best to inspire you.
Submit Poetry Online In Nigeria
Everyone's voice is different, and everyone's story is different, if you want to share your poem with the world, you are welcome to join any poetry website to submit poetry.
Many poems in Nigeria, are focused on African literature, and people share their experiences, thoughts, dreams, and hopes, often in a cultural and poetic style.
The sites accept poetry submissions either to feature on their website or to publish in poetry anthologies or magazines.
Of the many poetry websites available, here are a selected few.
A very friendly poetry site, they have millions of poems submitted on their servers.
Simply sign up with your email and you are good to go. Submit as many poems as you like.
This is not a poetry website specifically built for poetry, but more of a large community forum where everything Nigeria is discussed that includes poetry.
It has a very active community of poets who will review each of the poems that are submitted there, they cut and dice every poem until there is nothing left to be said about it. A nice place to get feedback and learn from others.