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Hohe honors literary excellence

The second annual Hohe Literary award ceremony was held at the National Theater on Monday August 13 with hundreds of people in attendance.

Hohe Awards, an initiative by Ephrem Berhanu, has been committed to increasing leadership and recognizing excellence in the written arts. Many in attendance expressed their gratitude that the award exists and hoped it will strengthen Amharic and Ethiopian literature.

The awards began with a play based on Gebre-Christos Destas's famous poem Hagere by the actors from the National Theater and students from the Addis Ababa University, College of Theatrical Arts.

The award to the best long fiction went to Alemayehu Gelagay's Befikir Sim, this year. The best poetry award went to none other than Bewketu Seyoum for his poetry collection Yemaleda Dibab.

The children's literature award went to the beautifully illustrated book Tewodros by Daniel Worku. Artist Leikun Nahusenay illustrated the book.

Hohe also honored writer, editor and critic Amare Mamo for lifetime literary achievements.

Tesfaye Adal, who has been in the book trade for over 40 years and owner of the small bookstore in the Ghandi Hospital area was also recognized by Hohe for his continuing contribution to the local reading culture.

The initial nominees included 20 works of fiction, 24 books of poetry and 17 children's books. Nine judges highly versed in Amharic literature narrowed the competition in each category down to 5 nominees. A week prior to the announcement of the winners, anyone could send in text messages to Hohe voting for their favorite book. Audience votes accounted for 20 percent while the rest was made up of the selected judges. Renowned artist Tadesse Mesfin designed the award.