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.
Uchechukwu Peter UMEZURIKE is the author of the children’s novel Sam and the Wallet (2007), the collection of short stories Tears in Her Eyes (2005), and two volumes of poetry, Aridity of Feelings (2006) and Dark Through the Delta (2004), which collectively have brought him numerous national and international awards. His collection of folk tales, Tim the Monkey and Other Stories, is forthcoming later this year. At present he is working on a collection of poems centered on the despoliation the Niger Delta.