The Somali Poetry Awards were open for entries starting Tuesday through the website of Home of Somali Poetry, a cultural initiative launched last month with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The awards, with three categories — Poet of the Year, UNDP Woman Poet of the Year and Youth Poet of the Year (for poets under the age of 25) — are open to anyone writing in Somali and aim to recognize the very best creative talent, said the event’s organizers.
“Women are too often ignored — but you can’t ignore the beautiful poetry we produce,” said Awards judge and leading poet, Asha Mohamud Yusuf in a statement issued in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia. “Whether we are talking about life, justice, family or our dreams, women’s poetry can inspire and bring attention to issues that must be addressed if we are to create a society where everyone can flourish.”
The Home of Somali Poetry website hosts a growing Somali Poetry Archive, which preserves the classics and showcases new work from a fresh generation of poets, as well as an online magazine for poetry-related articles, interviews with poets, live performances, learning resources and more.
Poetry can be entered through the Home of Somali Poetry website until Oct. 21 and there will be a 2,000-U.S.- dollar prize for the Poet of the Year and a 1,000-dollar prize for the Youth Poet of the Year.
The UNDP Woman Poet of the Year will win a 1,500-dollar commission to write six poems on issues affecting women in Somalia.
Winners will be announced on Nov. 21, with live performances of the winning poetry and appearances from celebrity guests, the organizers added. Enditem