Somali Poetry Awards

The highest
recognition in
Somali poetry

The Somali Poetry Awards are given annually and are open to all Somalis, no matter where they are living or where they were born. Judged by some of the most respected Somali literary figures, the Awards are the highest recognition of Somali poetic excellence.

The Judges

Submit

Poet of the Year

For the best poem received each year. The award carries a US$2,000 prize.

Woman Poet of the Year (sponsored by UNDP)

For the best poetry written by a woman. The award comes with a US$1,500 commission from UNDP to write 6 poems over the course of the next year.

Somali Youth Poet of the Year

For the best poetry submitted by anyone under 25. The award comes with a prize of US$1,000.

How to enter

The Awards are open to all Somalis no matter where they are living or where they were born.

They are free to enter.

All entries, which should consist of one poem written in Somali, must be entered through the Home of Somali Poetry website and received by 23.59 EAT on 21 October of each year.

There is no limit to the number of entries a single entrant can make and you can enter more than one category with the same poem. For example, if you are under 25, you can enter the same poem for Poet of the Year and Youth Poet of the Year.

All entries will be given a number and considered anonymously by the judges. The judges will not know the names of the authors and any poem whose author can be identified from the poem itself will be disqualified.

Online entries made via the website will receive automatic confirmation at the time of submission.

Poems can be on any subject and any length but must have a title and must be the entrant’s original work. After being entered, a poem cannot be changed.

Entries must not have been published, broadcast or featured among the winners in any other award before 21 November of each year.

Judging

The Home of Somali Poetry reserves the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes in any category each year if this is the decision of the judges.xinin Abaalmarin sanad kasta hadey Garsoorayaasha ay go’aansadaan.

The judges read all the entries and their decision is final. Neither the judges nor the Home of Somali Poetry will enter into any discussion about their decision.

No current employee or judge of the Home of Somali Poetry, UNDP or any sponsor can enter the Awards.

Winners

Prize-winners will be notified by email on 31 October each year using the email provided when submitting the poem. Winners must confirm receipt of this email by 7 November or they will be disqualified and their award will be given to the next best poem.

Winners will be invited to an awards ceremony on 21 November held in Somalia (the Home of Somali Poetry cannot provide allowances for travel or make logistical arrangements and reserves the right to cancel or change the format of this event, including making it a virtual event, in line with security or other requirements each year).

All winners will be expected to provide a biography and photograph.

The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, authors of the winning poems, by entering the Awards, grant the Home of Somali Poetry the right in perpetuity to publish and/or broadcast their poem and to approve its use by sponsors and partners for one year from the date of any award.

The Home of Somali Poetry reserves the right to award a poem entered in one category the award for another category.

The UNDP Woman Poet of the Year Award is reserved for poems by women on themes related to women’s lives, thoughts or experiences.

The Youth Poet of the Year Award is reserved for entries from poets aged 25 or less on 21 November of any given year. The winner will need to provide proof of age.