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Regent Student Shortlisted for Inaugural Poetry Prize

Daniel Kojo Appiah

A final year Regent student, Daniel Kojo Appiah has been named to the shortlist for the Ghana Poetry Prize competition 2013.

Daniel was among 100 others who have been shortlisted for the annual prize which seeks to award the best original, unpublished poem submitted to the competition. He was shortlisted for his poem about power and democracy entitled “The Leashed Goat Bleats”.

This year’s competition, built on the hugely successful 2012 online competition, saw over 1,100 entries being received from over twenty (20) countries including Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, India, USA, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Jamaica and Pakistan.

The Ghana Poetry Prize is a major new poetry prize targeted at the celebration and promotion of poetry worldwide. It is sponsored by Poetry Foundation Ghana, an organization that seeks to: “make poetry relevant in the Ghanaian culture by presenting the best form of poetry to the largest possible audience and giving platform to every poet to express and display their art.”

“I was taken by great surprise when I first got to know of my nomination. It took a while for me to fully accept it after reading about it on the website of the competition organizers”, says Daniel who is currently studying Information System Sciences at Regent.

Popularly known by the pen (and stage) name O'Zionn; Daniel has so far performed his poetry dozens of times at various acclaimed events and platforms around Ghana including the Chale Wote Street Art Festival (2011, 2012), 5th Ehalakasa Festival (2012), ALEWA Poetry Show (2011,2012) and Writer's Project on Citi fm.

Reflecting on his childhood, Daniel says, “I love English Language, specifically English Literature. I grew up in a family of readers; there were enough books to read at home. The reading culture was ingrained in me because my family had a study room full of many books.”

As a young poet, Daniel usually explores themes like motivation, religion and social issues with the aim of influencing the thoughts of readers and listeners positively.

“This nomination means a lot to me for two reasons. There were over 1,100 entries and the judges consisted of persons who are learned in English Literature. Also, although there was the opportunity for participants to submit two poems, I submitted only one on the day before the eve of the deadline.”

The focus of Poetry Foundation Ghana, the competition organizers is “to make poetry a major art form, and to make it directly significant to the Ghanaian public to inspire creativity, promote education, and to preserve poetry in all forms through the ages.”

The winner of this year’s competition will be announced by September at an event hosted by the Department of Modern Languages and English (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) and Poetry Foundation Ghana. The winner would receive a prize of GHS 2000 (approximately $1000). 

We wish Daniel all the best!