The Poets in Nigeria, PIN, Initiative, an non-governmental organisation, has urged government and private organisations to support and promote creativity of poetry writing in the country.
The president of the organisation, Mr Eriata Oribhabor, made the call at the fifth edition of formal announcement of Nigeria Students Poetry Prize on Wednesday in Lagos.
87 student ambassadors were unveiled for the Nigerian Student Poetry Prize, representing PIN in various tertiary institutions.
Nigerian Students Poetry Prize, NSPP, is an initiative of Poets in Nigeria, PIN, aimed at stimulating literary creativity and encouraging critical thinking among Nigerian undergraduates.
Since its inception in 2016 at the University of Ibadan, the prize had received about 2500 entries from students representing over 100 tertiary institutions.
Oribhabor said that government and private organisations needed to start promoting poetry through funding in order to encourage poetry students in the country.
“We will be pleased they can support and promote this initiative with funds just as they promote other forms of art such as comedy and music.
“Poetry is a special craft that people need to familiarise and understand the features and guidelines before writing,” Oribhabor said.
According to him, one of our aims is to promote poetry writing, reading and performance across the country.
“Every participant is expected to write a 30 line poem on anything, then panel of judges will select the bests.
“The cash prize for this year is over N500,000 as against N300,000 in 2019.
“This is what we really do so that younger ones interested in poetry can be grounded and we promote their works,” Oribhabor said.
He advised the students ambassadors to promote literary creativity amongst their peers and be of good character.
Also speaking, Mr Chike Ofili, former Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, said that writing a good and successful poetry could be difficult and solicited support from people in order to promote Nigeria Students Poetry Prize.
“To write a successful poetry is tough, to get a successful poem means it must come naturally through inspiration and from within the heart.
“Poetry serves a purpose, traditionally in Africa. Poets are one of the closest to the king because they praise the kings through words.
“Poetry works in diverse ways through a sound system of metaphor, alliteration of rhymes and rhythms,” he said.