Wana UDOBANG (fiction writer, poet, performer, filmmaker; Nigeria) has recorded three spoken word studio albums and has had her poetry film Dear Father screened at BFI’s African Odysseys Festival. Her journalism has received support from the IWMF Great Lakes Reporting Initiative and the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Journalism Foundation, and has appeared, among other publications, in Al Jazeera, The Guardian and the BBC.
Tade IPADEOLA (poetry, translation, prose; Nigeria) received the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his poetry collection The Sahara Testaments, which has been translated into four languages; in 2009 he won the Delphic Laurel for his poem “Songbird.” A Bellagio Rockefeller Fellow and a juror for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, he also translates poetry into Yoruba. He participates thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Amara Nicole OKOLO (fiction writer, non-fiction writer; Nigeria) is the author of the novel Black Sparkle Romance (2014)and the story collection Son of Man (2016).A participant in Chimamanda Adichie’s Farafina Creative Writing Workshop (2015) and the Invisible Borders TransAfrican Project (2017), she often speaks at book events and festivals. She is also a practicing lawyer. Her participation was made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S.
Gimba KAKANDA (fiction writer, poet, journalist; Nigeria) published a first volume of poetry, Safari Pants, in 2010; his other work has been anthologized. He is an editor at the Daily Nigerian, a daily committed to promoting transparency in governance, and maintains a weekly column in other periodicals concerned with social issues. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
Obari GOMBA (poet, playwright; Nigeria) teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, and has facilitated writing workshops for the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital. In 2013 his volume Length of Eyes was longlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature; the most recent of his three poetry collections, Thunder Protocol, appeared in 2015. He writes on issues of class, justice, and culture. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.
Ukamaka OLISAKWE (screenwriter, novelist, nonfiction writer; Nigeria) writes TV scripts (most recently the series “The Calabash”), essays, short stories, and has one novel. Selected in 2014 by the Africa39 Project as one of the continent’s 39 most promising writers under the age of 40, she has had her work appear in the New York Times. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Samuel KOLAWOLE (fiction and nonfiction writer; Nigeria) is the author of the story collection The Book of M (2011), and other stories, widely anthologized. He has had grants and fellowships from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, the Norman Mailer Centre and the Edward F. Albee Foundation, among others. Currently working on his second book, he directs a writing school in Ibadan. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.
Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong 胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…
We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.
The poetic documentary Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores, written and co-produced by Takako ARAI and creatively subtitled into English by a class of UI students of Japanese, will be screened at the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, on-line 10/7-14/2021.