October 7, 2022

Ahmed wins the prize for his manuscript, Blue Exodus.

By Editor

Nigerian poet, Hussain Ahmed, has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Orison Poetry Prize for his manuscript, Blue Exodus.

Ahmed was selected from the four-man final list comprising Cory Hutchinson-Reuss, Jeddie Sophronius, and Marco Yan. The winning entry was selected by judge, Rajiv Mohabir.

The Orison Prizes, founded in 2014 by Luke Hankins, and open to book-length poetry and fiction manuscripts is offered by US-based Orison Books.

Hussain Ahmed, author of the chapbook, Harp in a Fireplace, and Soliloquy with the Ghosts in Nile, has poems in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, The Kenyon Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere.

“Prayer, refuge, inheritance, and loss, beat in the heart of these poems. Things are not what they seem to be: even in paradise ‘a baobab died / with roots inside the ground.’ Indeed, these lines ask the reader to interrogate all things in new vocabularies of anguish, born from the inheritor of a war—still being fought in the muscle memory of the people who lived through it. Tension coils in every stanza, relieved by the fulfilment of grammar, yet troubling in the refusal of simple answers. Reading this collection again and again, I come away with the specters of the living and passed, asking me what it means to live as a story lives, to write a life’s ghost into poem,” Mohabir comments on the winning work. 

Ahmed will receive a cash prize of $1,500, as well as the publication of his collection by Orison Books.

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