The other poets announced alongside Achimba are American writers, Roda Avelar, Ariana Benson, Willie Lee Kinard III, and Chrysanthemum.
By Hope Ibiale
Nigerian poet and essayist, Bhion Achimba has been announced as one of the fellows for the 2023 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows. The other poets announced alongside Achimba are American writers Roda Avelar, Ariana Benson, Willie Lee Kinard III, and Chrysanthemum. The fellowship, which is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, annually honours five outstanding young poets, with an invitation to publish in the Poetry Magazine. They will receive a stipend to attend any professional development opportunity of choice, and a cash prize of $27,000.
While announcing this achievement via their Instagram page, Achimba said, “The subaltern is a Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow. Thank you, American poets: readers, judges, mentors, magazine editors, and teachers, all who have invited my poems in and loved my poems while caring for me in this strange land that I escaped to. My people, the poets. My people, who are everywhere. My people who believe in me even when I remain an anxious, self-doubting subaltern. Look at me in the great company of past and present Ruth Lilly Fellows.”
Bhion Achimba (formerly Chibuihe Obi Achimba), is a Nigerian poet, essayist, and founding editor of Dgëku magazine. Their manuscript, Cantos from the Crossing, won the 2023 Centre for Book Arts Chapbook prize. Their works have also appeared in The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Daily, The New York Times, and many other journals. Achimba is currently working on his debut novel and two poetry collections.
Founded in 1989, the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows is a fellowship founded by Ruth Lily and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund. Since its inception, the fellowship has supported many poets in the US.