The Inaugural Babishai Mentorship Program

The Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation launches its pilot online mentorship scheme, which will run from November 2015 to May 2016. This first of its kind quest is a new prize awarded to the shortlisted of the #Babishai2015 Poetry Prize.

The shortlisted poets for this annual African poetry competition are some of the most highly imaginative, exceptionally talented and unswerving poets. This mentorship scheme in a sense, will enable them to foster a professional writing relationship with dedicated mentors to African poetry, nurturing their craft and building their confidence as performers. Some poets on the program are also winners from previous years. Amongst our mentors, whom we are most privileged to have are:-

Nick MakohaNick Makoha represented Uganda at Poetry Parnassus as part of the Cultural Olympiad held in London. A former Writer in Residence for Newham Libraries, his 1-man-Show My Father & Other Superheroes debuted to sold-out performances at 2013 London Literature Festival and is currently on tour.

He has been a panelist at both the inaugural Being A Man Festival (Fatherhood: Past, Present & Future) and Women Of The World Festival (Bringing Up Boys). In 2005 award-winning publisher Flippedeye launched its pamphlet series with his debut The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man.

Part of his soon to be published 1st full collection The Second Republic is in the anthology Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol Press). Nick won the 2015 Brunel African Poetry prize and has poems that appear in the TriQuarterly Review and Boston Review and emerged third in the #Babishai2015 Poetry Award.

kwame-dawesGhanaian-born Jamaican poet, Kwame Dawes is the award-winning author of sixteen books of poetry (most recently, Wheels, 2011) and numerous books of fiction, non-fiction, criticism and drama. He is the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. Kwame Dawes also teaches in the Pacific MFA Writing program. Dawes’ book, Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems was published by Copper Canyon in 2013.Kwame is also the founder of the African Poetry Book Fund and African Poetry Book Series.

Stephen Derwent PartingtonStephen Derwent Partington.
Poetry is his primary hobby and passion. He began to write poetry at school. He describes his poetry as accessible. His early writing was full of Modernist allusions and foreign languages, but as he accessed more contemporary poetry this disappeared.
He’d probably also describe it as hybrid in the sense that while he has sought to fit into the Kenyan (and wider African) traditions of broadly Anglophone verse, lots of influences from his pre-Kenya days remain. He has been published widely in various anthologies and also, published in; Two collections, one in Kenya (SMS and Face to Face) and one from the UK (How to Euthanise a Cactus).



Leave a Reply