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Meet The Judges and Judge's Guide: VCPP 2022

Meet the seasoned panelists on the Vweta Chadwick Poetry Prize (VCPP) 2022.

Iquo DianaAbasi

Creative writer and storyteller

Iquo DianaAbasi is a creative writer, performer and social activist. She writes prose, poetry and scripts for radio and screen. Her writings explore societal issues, womanhood, the environment and the need to embrace our humanity as a precursor to healing.

Beyond the Staccato, her first audio offering of poems and music was released in April 2022 on online platforms and CDs. This album is a commentary on the state of affairs in Nigeria. Iquo’s second poetry collection, Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten, has also been released in 2022.

Her short story collection, Èfó Rírò and Other Stories was released in 2020 to much acclaim. Her first poetry collection, Symphony of Becoming, was longlisted for the NLNG Nigeria prize for literature, the ANA poetry prize, and the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.

Her writings appear in African Literature Today, Poetry potion, Kalahari review, AfricaInWords, Saraba magazine, Ebedi Review, ANA Review, and several other print and online poetry anthologies.

Iquo is known to perform her poems with a touch of Ibibio folklore. Stages she has graced include: Lagos International Poetry Festival, Ake Arts and Book Festival, The Big60 Cultural Exchange, Wole Soyinka @80, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, The Macmillan Literary night, PLAY Poetry Festival and more.

Iquo edits the African speculative fiction magazine,

Ella Fortté

Spokenword artiste/Storyteller

Ella Fortté is a Spokenword artiste, Creative storyteller, Host, writer and neurodivergent creative

who utilizes various mediums of art which include Spokenword performances, copies, narrations

and poetry readings.

Ella Fortté’s passion has had her speak her truth and aid other people in speaking theirs, and as a result of her tenacity and deft way with words has had the privilege to perform and share her truth at notable events and with brands which include but are not limited to ; The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Erasmus Center For Entrepreneurship Rotterdam Netherlands, First Bank, KLM Royal Dutch airlines, Stanbic Ibtc, FCMB, LIPFEST, First bank, and The Lagos state government to name a few. Her goal? To create art that not only entertains the ears it graces.

Adedayo Agarau

Award winning poet and publisher

Adedayo, shortlisted for the 2022 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, is a 2022 Robert Hayden Scholarship fellow of Stockton University and the recipient of the 2022 Stanley Awards for International Research at the University of Iowa. He is studying for MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop '23. His manuscript, The Morning The Birds Died, was a finalist in the 2021 Sillerman Prize. His chapbook, Origin of Names, was selected for New Generation African Poet (African Poetry Book Fund), 2020, while Vegetarian Alcoholic Press published his chapbook, The Arrival of Rain in January 2020. His poems are featured in Poetry Foundation, World Literature Today, Anomaly, Frontier, Iowa Review, Boulevard, and elsewhere. Adedayo is the Editor-in-Chief at Agbowó: An African magazine of literature and art. Adedayo edited Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry. You can find him on and @adedayo_agarau on Twitter.

David Olajide

Seasoned poet and wordsmith

David Olajide is an eclectic first-class poet, writer, speaker and PR consultant. He is a master wordsmith who has an uncanny knack for Marketing communications - having developed communications strategies for some of the world’s biggest brands.

His experience and love for writing spans nearly two decades and his passion for Youth Development and Capacity Building burns bright.

David describes himself as an incurable optimist as is evident in the style and depth of the message in his written pieces.

He published his debut book “Awakening 11:11” in 2018.

VCCP 2022 - Judges' Guide
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