Global Upfront Newspapers
Books Canada Cover Diaspora/Life Abroad Life News

Nigerian-Canadian Poet Tolu Oloruntoba Wins $65K Griffin Poetry Prize For The Junta Of Happenstance

Surrey, B.C.-based poet Tolu Oloruntoba is the Canadian winner of the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize for his collection The Junta of Happenstance. The $65,000 prize is one of the richest awards in the world for a book of poetry.

The Junta of Happenstance is an exploration of disease, both medical and emotional. It explores family dynamics, social injustice, the immigrant experience, economic anxiety and the nature of suffering.

The Junta of Happenstance previously won the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and was longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and Raymond Souster Award.

Oloruntoba is a Nigerian Canadian writer and poet. He practiced medicine for six years, and has harboured a love for writing poetry since he was 16. Oloruntoba’s poems explore the struggles of diasporic peoples around the globe as they traverse both land and cultures.

His first chapbook, Manubrium, was shortlisted for the 2020 bpNichol Chapbook Award. He’s also the founder of the literary magazine Klorofyl.

Oloruntoba was named a writer to watch in 2022 by CBC Books. His latest book is Each One a Furnace, a poetry book that explores immigration and transience through the imagery of migratory birds, which typify the unrest of billions of humans in the modern world.

The other Canadian finalists were Ontario poet Liz Howard, who made the Canadian shortlist for her second consecutive time and for her sophomore book, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, and Montreal poet David Bradford for the collection Dream of No One but Myself.

The international winner was American poet Douglas Kearney for Sho, a poetry book that was a2021 U.S. National Book Award Finalist.

Sho is a collection of poems that reflect Black vernacular traditions, while examining histories, pop culture, myth and folklore.

The other international finalists included Late to the House of Words by Catalan writer Gemma Gorga, translated from Catalan by Sharon Dolin, Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow by Ukrainian writer Natalka Bilotserkivets, translated from Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella & Dzvinia Orlowsky and Asked What Has Changed by American poet Ed Roberson.

The three judges of the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize, Adam Dickinson from Canada, Valzhyna Mort from Belarus and the U.S. and Claudia Rankine from Jamaica and the U.S., read 639 books of poetry from 16 countries to make the shortlists.

Other past Canadian winners include Billy-Ray Belcourt, Anne Carson, Roo Borson, Dionne Brand and Jordan Abel. 

First published in CBC

Advertize With Us

See Also

Algeria denounces African Union for granting Israel observer status

Global Upfront

CDS, Service Chiefs gets President Buhari’s nod on performance, to get more funds to “do better”

Global Upfront

Allow all Nigerians bear arms, Miyetti Allah demands, says FG has failed to protect citizens

Global Upfront

‘iPad mini Pro’ could be in the works, launch expected later this year

Global Upfront

Buhari mourns General Joshua Dogonyaro, the “thoroughbred soldier”

Global Upfront

Beware, Iranian hackers targeting Nigerian telecommunication companies, ISPs, infrastructure, says NCC

Global Upfront

Obasanjo hits back at critics of condolence letter on Kashamu, says “people can mourn me the way they like when I die”

Global Upfront

Alleging ‘Infidelity,’ P-Square Paul Okoye’s Wife, Anita, Files For Divorce

Global Upfront

Hike in Fuel Price/Electricity Tariff: PDP seeks immediate reversal, says Buhari’s govt punishing Nigerians

Global Upfront

Toll Gates: “Downright act of wickedness against the suffering Nigerian masses,” PDP tells APC

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More