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2024 Nossrat Yassini Poetry Prize Winner

Kweku Abimbola

For his collection Saltwater Demands a Psalm (Graywolf Press)

We're delighted to announce that final judge Camille Dungy has selected Kweku Abimbola's debut, Saltwater Demands a Psalmas the inaugural Nossrat Yassini Poetry Prize winner. Published in April 2023, the collection saw publication via Graywolf Press as the winner of the 2022 First Book Award from the Academy of American Poets. 

Born in The Gambia in 1997, Kweku Abimbola earned his MFA in Poetry Writing from the  University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. He is of Gambian, Ghanaian, and Sierra Leonean descent. He is a finalist for the 2021 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, the second-place winner of Furious Flower’s 2020 poetry contest, and has work published and forthcoming in Shade Literary Arts20.35 AfricaThe CommonObsidianSunu Journal, and elsewhere. Abimbola’s writing primarily investigates colonization, black mourning, black boyhood, black aliveness, gender politics, and the spiritual consequences of climate change in West Africa. He works as a teaching artist for the literary non-profit Inside Out Literary Arts, where he holds workshops in poetry and creative writing for middle school students in Detroit Public Schools. He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

Abimbola will read at 7 PM on Saturday, April 13 in the Dimond Library's Courtyard Reading Room. Check our Schedule page for more on the Festival's offerings, and our Featured Poets page for a full bio. For info about our other 2024 finalists, check here.