Koleka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia Wins the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry

We are proud to announce that Koleka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia has won the 2018 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

This year’s prize was judged by Bernardine Evaristo, renowned author of fiction and founder of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She said of Collective Amnesia: “Everything about this poetry debut feels fresh and timely. Putuma, writing from a queer female perspective, has a liberated poetic voice that engages with politics, race, religion, relationships, sexuality, feminism and more. There is also risky formal innovation, emotional and intellectual complexity, biblical intertextuality, and a stirring declamatory audibility.”

As the winner of the Luschei Prize, Putuma will receive an award of U.S. $1,000. The award is named after Glenna Luschei, the U.S. American poet and publisher.

This marks the second year in a row an uHlanga book has featured in the prizewinners for this award, after Stephen Symon’s commendation for the 2017 award for his collection Questions for the Sea.

We would like to express our thanks to the African Poetry Book Fund – to Kwame Dawes and Ashley Strosnider and their team – for this kind recognition of Koleka and her work. Congratulations too to the writers of the commended works this year, Nick Makoha’s Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal Tree) and Dami Ajayi’s A Woman’s Body is a Country (Ouida).