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.”