The Adinkra Poetry Prize 2024 calls for poetic expressions on culture, politics, and change

The Adinkra Poetry Prize 2024 calls for poetic expressions on culture, politics, and change

 In a celebration of Ghanaian culture and heritage, The Adinkra Poetry Prize is excited to announce its call for poetry submissions that engage with three selected Adinkra symbols out of the over 200 existing symbols.

 The focus for this year includes Fihankra, Nkyinkyim, and Mate Masie. Esteemed preliminary judges for this edition are Emma Ofosua, Apiorkor, and Ko-jo Cue. The head judge for the prize is Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy. 

As we approach the upcoming election year, The Adinkra Poetry Prize invites interested people to offer words that surprise, excite, frustrate, and incite change. 

They are looking for poetry that serves as a song for change, a chant, a prayer, a potential new national anthem, or guidelines to hold Ghanaians accountable to the cause of the nation and its citizens, “exploring the complexities of love or criticism for our relationship with our beloved nation.”

Writers are encouraged to submit their poetic expressions, with each poem responding to or thoughtfully engaging with the chosen Adinkra symbols within the context of Ghana’s current political and socio-economic landscape.

 The competition is open to writers aged 18 and above who are Ghanaian citizens currently residing in Ghana.

The 2024 Adinkra Poetry Prize is generously supported by the Center for Humanities at the University of New Hampshire, the Mellon Mays Foundation, and the All African Women Poetry Festival. 

For the prizes, winners in each category will receive $200, and three (3) Finalists will be awarded $70.

Finalists and winners will be officially announced in May 2023 and will be invited to an awards ceremony at the prestigious All African Women Poetry Festival.

 Additionally, finalists will also have the opportunity to apply for the WaterMill Residency. Selected submissions will be considered for publication in a digital anthology. 

For the written submissions, the writers will be asked to transcribe their work for publication. 

Applicants should note that the committee reserves the right to withhold awards based on the quality of submissions.

As part of the submission guidelines, an applicant is expected to submit a maximum of three (3) poems per submission, with each poem directly or indirectly identifying the chosen Adinkra symbol, and limit one submission per person; additional submissions will not be considered.

Poems may vary in length, style, or subject but must incorporate the chosen Adinkra symbol and its meaning.

Organisers have urged participants to exclude any identifying information from the submission document and submit unpublished poems only.

“Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please inform us if your work is selected elsewhere.For any inquiries or questions, please email [].

Submission Guidelines (Spoken Word): Submit a recorded poem (video) not exceeding 1 minute, with each poem identifying the chosen Adinkra symbol you are responding to. Avoid including your name in the recorded video,” they added.

Deadline for submission is February 15, 2024.

The Adinkra Poetry Prize eagerly awaits thought-provoking and inspirational poetry submissions in celebrating Ghana’s rich cultural heritage through the power of words, and let your voice be heard as we shape the future of our nation together.

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