The 2021 Literary Arts Festival which held on the 25th of May, 2021, at the Faculty of Arts Lecture Hall, University of Nigeria Nsukka featured quite an array of personalities. We were pleased to have in attendance: Mr Jeff Unaegbu, whose timely guest-lecture honed on writing and publishing in the new decade; the students’ staff adviser, Dr. T.M.E. Chukwumezie, Dr. Moses Malefa, Sir Greg Mbajiorgu, Dr. Nkama Akaji, and Mr. Leo Anele-Ejesu who chaired the occasion, standing in place to award certificates and prizes to due winners; The Nsukka Local Government Chairman, represented by Hon. Nnamdi Ugwu, whose presence graced the occasion and was eminent in the launching of the Muse journal.

The 2021 Literary Arts Festival starred intriguing spoken word performances by Iheoma J. Uzomba and Mmesoma Anekwe, both students of the Department of English and Literary Studies, UNN; cultural activities which ranged from dances, dramatic performances and intertribal greetings to interstate food exhibitions; a special musical performance by Ezeugo; awarding of certificates and prizes to due winners and the eventual unveiling/launching of the Muse 48 Journal.

Individuals who stood out as winners of literary prizes are here listed below:

Emeka Anuforo’s prize for Best Literary Artist of the year awarded to Kosoluchi Agboanike.

Eriata Oribhabor’s prize for Pidgin Poetry awarded to Kathryn Olushola, for her piece, “Akara Junction.”

Wilson Okereke’s prize for the Short Story category awarded to Nwadike Rosemary Nwankasiobi (Winner), Erere Onyeugbo (1st Runner Up), Orjichukwu Golding (2nd Runner Up).

O. A. Ejesu’s prize for Poetry awarded to Chibueze Obunadike (Winner), Orjichukwu Golding (1st Runner Up), Paula Willie-Okafor (2nd Runner Up).

Sosthenes Ekeh’s prize for Flash Fiction awarded to Muoh Norah (Winner), Ugwu, Ogochukwu Lilian (1st Runner Up), Martins Favour (2nd Runner Up).

*All winning works would be made available on the site in due course.

We are grateful to all our contributors whose works grace the pages of The Muse 48 Journal, it’s a privilege indeed to host your beautiful pieces in this year’s edition of The Muse. Our immense gratitude extends to all those who launched the Muse 48 Journal with us in course of the 2021 Literary Arts Festival, UNN. Big shout-outs to The Muse 48 board whose tireless efforts has served to push the tradition forth, this literary tradition which has reigned since 1963 (erected by the famous Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe) and would yet reign in subsequent years.

*The Muse 48 Board:
Chetachi Igbokwe (Editor), Onyinyechi Okorie (Assistant Editor), Juliet Ebere Idoko (Critical Writing Editor), Ogechukwu Samuel (Poetry Editor), Angel Ik-Nwobodo (Associate Poetry Editor), Sharon Okey-Onyema (Prose Editor), Ozichukwu Ifesie (Drama Editor), Jacintha Doowuese Ade (Publicity Secretary), Success Idika (Business Manager), Iheoma J. Uzomba (Social Media/Blog Editor), Cynthia Elohor Esemuede (Secretary).

Over the years, The Muse has published interviews of notable Nigerian writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chika Unigwe, Unoma Azuah, Eghosa Imasuen, Chigozie Obioma, E.C. Osondu , amongst others. This year, the Muse 48, edited by Chetachi Igbokwe boasts of an interview with Lola Shoneyin, winner of the PEN Award in America as well as the Ken Saro-Wiwa Award for prose in Nigeria. Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, was on the list for the Orange Prize in 2010. In her interview with The Muse, she points out the need for writers to write on themes and stories that interest them, so as not to stifle creativity. The prestigious literary critic, Prof. Ernest N. Emenyonu, Professor Emeritus, University of Calabar/ University of Mitchigan, also has a congratulatory note on the pages of The Muse 48, addressed to the editor and all students of the English and Literary Students Association, UNN for consolidated efforts towards the birthing of the Muse 48 journal. The journal is indeed adorned with beautiful pieces from emerging as well as established writers across various sects.