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Ben Okri on Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

I am one on whom providence has worked its magic reversals. Behind me are silent stories, like a storm. I have worn History around my neck, like chains. Freedom is a difficult lesson to learn. I have tasted the language…


Mental tyranny

Ben Okri expounds and exalts “the genius of inner freedom” in this profound yet controversial article for The Guardian. From James Joyce to Homer, Okri argues that great literature transcends subject; the beauty of art giving the work a greater…

Ben Okri: Lines in Potentis

In 2006, visual artists Yeast Culture created an animated journey through Ben Okri’s words for this visual expression of his poem. Perhaps he will give us a live reading at Africa Writes too.


Emergent Discourse on African Literature

Emergent Discourse on African Literature Friday 3 July 14.00 – 15.30 Free The academic discourse on African literature is characterised by a continuous process of debate, reassessment of theories and redefinition of terms. The very concept of ‘African literature’ is…


What are you reading? #Africawrites

So what are you reading right now? Is it African literature? If the answer is yes then join our conversation on Twitter! In the run up to Africa Writes we are keen to know who is the middle of, just…

African Books - Hannah Pool

African Books To Inspire

African Books To Inspire    Friday 3 July 18.30 – 20.30 £10 /£8/ £5 An evening of books and inspiration, chaired by Hannah Pool. At this special event, a selection of writers and personalities will share their favourite titles of…

Ben Okri_publishers photo

Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in conversation

Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in conversation Saturday 4 July, 6.30pm –8.00pm BL Conference Centre Ben Okri is the author of 10 novels, including the Booker winner The Famished Road Ben Okri is one of the most known and respected of African…

An avid reader perusing the bookshelves at Africa Writes 2014

Five lists of African literature we love

Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. Wole Woyinka. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. These are the familiar writers and book titles that feature on African literature lists.  It’s hardly surprising since they are among the greats – and we are of course big fans…