Gbenga Adesina

— 1st Place Winner of the Spotlight Award —

Gbenga Adesina, Nigerian poet and essayist, has won the Palette Poetry Spotlight Award with his poem “Surrender.” His poem, “How To Paint A Girl” was selected by Matthew Zapruder for its “clarity of observation and empathetic insight into the suffering of another” for publication in the New York Times, while also jointly winning the 2016 Brunel University, UK poetry prize. He has received scholarships and residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Poets House, Callaloo at Oxford and the Norman Mailer Center. His poetry Chapbook, Painter of Water, selected and edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani was published in spring 2016 in the New Generation African Poets series by University of Nebraska-lincoln and Akashic books, New York. His poems have been published in the New York TimesPrairie Schooner, Narrative Magazine, Washington Square Review, Ploughshares, Vinyl and elsewhere. This spring, he’ll graduate as a Goldwater Poetry Fellow from the MFA Program at NYU where he is supervised by Yusef Komunyakaa. He also teaches undergraduate Creative Writing there.