James Eze: 2020 ANA Poetry Prize winner
Anambra State Governor Chief Willie Obiano, has congratulated his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) James Eze, for winning the 2020 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Poetry Prize at the weekend.
Eze won the coveted prize with his critically acclaimed debut collection of poems ‘Dispossessed’ at the just ended 39th ANA International Convention which took place in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
A statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, said Gov. Obiano alongside many cabinet members, described the ANA prize as “the shape of things to come.”
ANA Prizes are Nigeria’s longest-running literary prizes and arguably the most respected because they represent the opinion of writers on the art and craft of their fellow writers.
Eze’s prize came exactly one year after ‘Dispossessed’ was published to a grand reception by critics and fellow poets and writers in Awka, the state capital.
The book has since been given a pride of place by leading online retailers in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, South Korea, Ireland, South Africa, India and Russia.
Some poems were read at a session of the Anambra State Executive Council on publication, becoming perhaps the first time poems were read at any cabinet in Nigeria’s recent history.
Eze’s ‘Dispossessed’ which bears the sub-title “poetry of innocence, transgression and atonement” is indeed a revelation structured in the lower case style of the great American avant-garde poet, E. E. Cummings.
Not a few said that give poetic influences from such immortal poets as Christopher Okigbo, Pablo Neruda, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound and W.B. Yeats, it’s little wonder that Eze beat all comers to win the ANA Prize for poetry.