The UnSerious Collective Announces N50,000 Fellowships for Nigerian Poets

The group—poets Adedayo Agarau, Jeremiah Agbaakin, Nome Patrick, Adebayo Kolawole Samuel, Wale Ayinla, Pamilerin Jacob, and Michael Akuchie—is seeking “poetry that is experimental and daring.”
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The Origin of Name; photo by Adedayo Agarau.

The Origin of Name, a chapbook by Adedayo Agarau, a member of The UnSerious Collective.

The UnSerious Collective, a new group of Nigerian poets, has announced the commencement of submissions for its Fellowship. Four emerging Nigerian poets will be chosen “for poetry that is commendable, experimental, brilliant and daring.” The group self-funds the initiative.

To qualify, applicants must be Nigerian and not have published a full-length collection. Fellows will receive N50,000 (fifty thousand Naira) each and will have a portfolio of their poems published on the UnSerious Collective website. Finalists will have two poems each published on the website as well.

The UnSerious Collective was started by poets who collaborated to read for Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry, edited by Adedayo Agarau, author of The Origin of Name and editor-in-chief of Agbowó. Others who joined Agarau in the initial plan to write together during National Poetry Month were Jeremiah Agbaakin, Nome Patrick, Adebayo Kolawole Samuel, Pamilerin Jacob, Michael Akuchie, and Wale Ayinla, author of To Cast a Dream. “No one,” the group writes, “foresaw what exemplary unseriousness we had going on, but we were sure that we loved and respected one another.”

The Fellowship, the group says, “is part of the major essence of the collective—to recognize talents and celebrate hardwork in the bustling Nigerian poetry community.”

Apply HERE.

Emmanuel Esomnofu
Emmanuel Esomnofu is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a culture journalist and has written extensively on Nigerian music and on several moving parts of popular culture. His writing appears online in Native Mag, Okay Africa, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere. He was published in print in The Muse, the oldest student journal in West Africa. In December 2020, he worked on "Fuji: A Opera" as a copywriter, creating informative and exciting stories from Fuji's rich history.

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