Somali Poet Ladan Osman wins the 2014 Sillerman Prize for African Poetry for ‘The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony’

Posted: February 20, 2014 in ANNOUNCEMENTs
Tags: , , ,

Ladan Osman

Ladan Osman

Just in: Somali Poet Ladan Osman has won this year’s Sillerman First Book Prize for African poetry with her collection, The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony. This follows from last year’s inaugural win by Kenyan Clifton Gachagua for his Madman at Kilifi.

Readers of this blog will not be strangers to my love for Somali literature and this win by another Somali following Warsan Shire’s Brunel African poetry prize win last year, goes to remove all doubt about the art of that country in the east. I’m elated there is a new Somali poet whose works I will be looking forward to and reading through the year. Read my post Celebrating Somalia (yes, Celebrating!) and the poem I Think About you, Mogadishu.

Press release: Courtesy African Poetry Book Fund and BooksLive

Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, The African Poetry Book Fund and Prairie Schooner are pleased to announce that Ladan Osman’s collection, The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony, is the winner of the 2014 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Osman will receive a $1000 cash award and publication of her book with the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.

“I deeply appreciate this prize,” Osman said after learning of the board’s decision. “I have so badly just wanted a chance to work, to be apparent to people in life and in poems. A bunch of things happened in the years spent writing this book: I’m excited to share what came out of those sometimes rough waters, and look forward to connecting to new readers and new communities.”

The African Poetry Book Fund publishes four new titles each year, including the winner of the Sillerman prize and one new volume by a major African poet.

African Poetry Book Fund Series Editor and Prairie Schooner Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes praised The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony, saying that “only the genius of sincerity of voice and imagination can allow a poet to contain in a single poem both consuming gravitas and delightful whimsy. This is what we get again and again from the splendidly gifted poet Ladan Osman. The editorial team of the African Poetry Book Fund was unanimous in selecting her manuscript as winner of this year’s Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.”

Osman, whose parents are from the city of Mogadishu in Somalia, has received fellowships from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Artful Dodge, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbook, Ordinary Heaven, will appear in Seven New Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Slapering Hol Press, 2014). She teaches in Chicago.

Last year’s winner was Kenyan poet Clifton Gachagua, whose collection, Madman at Kilifi, will be published in February 2014.

The Sillerman First Book Prize is named after philanthropists Laura and Robert F. X. Sillerman, whose contributions have endowed the establishment of the African Poetry Book Fund & Series. The Sillerman prize is awarded to African writers who have not published a book-length poetry collection. An “African writer” is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, is a citizen or resident of an African country, or whose parents are African.

The Fund and its partners also support seminars, workshops, and other publishing opportunities for African poets, as well as the African Poetry Libraries Project. As a partner of the African Poetry Book Fund & Series, Prairie Schooner manages the Sillerman prize. In addition to Series Editor Dawes, the African First Book Fund editorial board is comprised of Chris Abani, Matthew Shenoda, Gabeba Baderoon, John Keene, and Bernardine Evaristo.

Information about the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets is available on the African Poetry Book Fund website, http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu. You can also find more about Prairie Schooner at http://prairieschooner.unl.edu or on Twitter (@TheSchooner).

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Congratulations, Ladan. We’re so proud. May your words continue to be recognized by those who need poetry to quench their thirsty souls.

    Like

  2. Umayma Good says:

    Proud of her…Congrates Ladan

    Like

  3. Ahmed Aden says:

    Well done and congrats to you Ladan.

    Like

  4. saAcid says:

    Nice, now where is that poem plz, i wanna read

    Like

  5. We are so proud for such success you brought to all of us Africans in general and Somalis in particular. you did an amazing job. They say some one like you Ladan Osman is one person in a million, I would rather say you are one person in trillions. way to go sister Ladan

    Like

  6. Yacqub says:

    she’s did something remarkable ,I m looking forward to see her poetry

    Like

  7. fahima cadaawe says:

    Am so proud of you Ladan.

    Like

  8. Bukhari Sanka says:

    Congrats Sisteeeeeee in blood. you really proved right that all Somalis are not bad people as some believe so.
    Love to see your poetry work

    Like

  9. Samatar Haji says:

    Well done to Ladan… Somali oral tradition is unique and thank you for bringing it to a wider audience

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations, Ladan. :-) You make Africa proud!

    Like

  11. zahra says:

    Congratulations to you our young and beautiful Somali sister for the remarkable success that you achieved. Well done sister for making us a creative people despite all the difficulty our people and our country are going through.
    Zahra Saleh
    Somalis based in Uae

    Liked by 1 person

  12. we are so proud of ya Ladan keep the good job

    Like

  13. […] Just in: Somali Poet Ladan Osman has won this year's Sillerman First Book Prize for African poetry with her collection, The Kitchen Dweller's Testimony. This follows from last year's inaugural win by Kenyan Clifton Gachagua …  […]

    Like

  14. abdulkadir says:

    it is a given talent with rich Somali traditional story telling

    Like

  15. Hamza says:

    congrats Ladan! you are amazing and thoughtful women. we hope that your words will bring change to this world and help those who needs for it.

    Like

  16. Khatra says:

    Congratulations and proud of you

    Like

  17. Congratulations, you make Africa proud!

    Like

  18. maxamed says:

    Wanu ku tageersanahay walale ladan mesha kasi wad dadalka
    Viva somalia Viva africa

    Like

  19. Abdullahi. yusuf says:

    thnks to u ladan we all love ur braveness keep going and never stop

    Like

  20. […] Somali Poet Ladan Osman wins the 2014 Sillerman Prize for African Poetry for ‘The Kitchen Dwel… […]

    Like

  21. somaalo says:

    you made me feel proud,

    Like

Your comments go a long way

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s