Somali poet Ladan Osman, was recently named the winner of the 2014 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets for her collection, The Kitchen Dweller’s Testimony. She will be awarded $1000 in cash and the publication of her book by the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.
On learning of the news Osman, a Chicago based teacher stated, “I deeply appreciate this prize. 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 (APBF) is an organization that is committed to promoting and advancing the development and publication of the poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa.
Every year APBF publishes four new titles, 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 Osman’s collection, 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’s previous works 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).
Last year’s winner was Kenyan poet Clifton Gachagua, whose collection, Madman at Kilifi, will be available on March 1st, 2014.
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 athttp://prairieschooner.unl.edu or on Facebook and Twitter.
Source: Prairie Schooner