Award-winning poet and UEA alumnus Gboyega Odubanjo went missing at the Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire on 26th August and officers investigating found a body on 31st August. In a statement, Northamptonshire police said formal identification had yet to take place, but that Odubanjo’s family had been informed. Gboyega (pictured) gained a BA in English & Philosophy at UEA in 2017 and graduated from the MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) in 2018. His debut poetry pamphlet While I Yet Live was published by Bad Betty Press in 2019 and shortlisted for the 2020 OutSpoken Prize for Poetry. In 2021 he published Two Stops Short of Barking, a pamphlet of poems and interviews arising from his residency at Rabbits Road Institute Library in London. He was an editor at bath magg, and a board member and former guest editor of Magma Poetry. He was also a doctoral candidate at the University of Hertfordshire, and had previously received an Eric Gregory Award, a New Poets’ Prize, and the Michael Marks Award for his poetry. His full-length debut collection, Adam, is forthcoming from Faber in Summer 2024.
His family and friends are asking for the help of his community through community fundraising, the purpose of it is to support in his final arrangements and continue on his legacy. They are launching the Gboyega Odubanjo Foundation for low-income Black writers, with funds from this appeal also going towards the foundation. The fundraiser can be found here.