Nancy AdimoraNancy Adimora is the Founding Editor of AFREADA, an online literary magazine featuring short stories from emerging writers across Africa. She recently completed an MSc in Leadership and International Development with the African Leadership Centre at King's College London, and earned her Bachelor in Laws (LLB) from Queen Mary, University of London. Born and raised in London, Nancy remains close to her native Nigeria. She is passionate about social innovation in Africa, and works on partnerships and content creation with the TEDxEuston team. She tweets @afreada. At Africa Writes 2017, Nancy co-hosts Books to Inspire: Buchi Emecheta Book Club, Sunday 2 July, 12:45-13:45.
Kinsi AbdullehKinsi Abdulleh is a visual artist, editor and educator. She is the founder of NUMBI Arts, a London based cross-arts and cross cultural non-profit – rooted in contemporary Somali Film Arts & Literature -an open archive and ongoing forum for shared disaporic experience - and the editor publisher of literary arts magazine SCARF. Her work as an artist educator focuses on social justice, histories and the female voice. www.numbi.org. At Africa Writes 2017 Kinsi speaks at Africa Writes, Africa Reads: Literary and Cultural Festivals, Sunday 2 July, 15:15-16:30.
Victoria Adukwei BulleyVictoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer and filmmaker. A former Barbican Young Poet, her work has been commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, in addition to being featured on BBC Radio 4. She was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2016, and is a fellow of the acclaimed mentorship programme, The Complete Works. Her debut pamphlet, Girl B, edited by Kwame Dawes, forms part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets series. She is the director of MOTHER TONGUES, a intergenerational poetry, translation and film project supported by Arts Council England and Autograph ABP. She tweets @victoriaadukwei. At Africa Writes 2017 Victoria speaks at the Translation Roundtable, Sunday 2 July, 13:00-14:15.
Afrikult.Afrikult. is a literary platform dedicated to exploring, discussing and celebrating African literature. Afrikult.'s website consists of bite-size book reviews, interviews with writers, translators, publishers and organisations to opinion pieces. Afrikult. hosts workshops, panel discussions and present papers at conferences and literary festivals. Afrikult. was formed in July 2014 by three friends passionate about African literature, and is now run by Marcelle Mateki Akita and Zaahida Nabagereka. www.afrikult.com, They tweet @afrikult. At Africa Writes 2017 they co-host in African Books to Inspire: Buchi Emecheta Book Club, Sunday 2 July, 12:45-13:45.
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBEEllah Wakatama Allfrey OBE is a London-based editor and critic. She was Visiting Professor and Global Intercultural Scholar at Goshen College, Indiana in 2016. She is on the judging panel for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award and was Guest Master for the 2016 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation fellowship in Colombia. A recent guest contributing editor for the 'Fear' issue of Transition magazine, she is the former deputy editor of Granta magazine. She served as a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Allfrey is series editor of the Kwani? Manuscript Project and the editor of Africa39 (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction (Dundurn/Cassava Republic, 2016). She has also served as chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She sits on the boards of Art for Amnesty, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Jalada Collective (Kenya) and the Writers Centre Norwich and is a patron of the Etisalat Literature Prize. She tweets @epwa66. At Africa Writes 2017 Ellah facilitates an Editing Masterclass for Writers, Saturday 1 July, 13:00-16:00, and chairs The Issue of Fear, Saturday 1 July, 16:45-18:00.
JJ BolaJJ Bola is a Kinshasa born, London raised writer, poet, and educator. JJ Bola published three books of poetry Elevate (2012) and Daughter of the Sun (2014) and WORD (2015) is his most comprehensive poetry collection. His work is centred on a narrative of empowerment, humanisation, healing of trauma as well as discovery of self through art, literature and poetry. No Place to Call Home is his debut novel, published by Own It! (2017). He tweets @JJ_Bola. At Africa Writes 2017 he launches his debut novel on Sunday 2 July, 12:45-13:30.
Malika BookerMalika Booker is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage and mutli-disciplinary artist. She founded Malika's Poetry Kitchen. Her collection Pepper Seed was published by Peepal Tree Press (2013) and longlisted for the OCM Bocas 2014 Prize. Pepper Seed was also shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre 2014 Prize for first full collection. She is currently published in The Penguin Modern Poet Series 3 and is the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds. She tweets @MalikaBooker. At Africa Writes 2017 she performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Joanna BrownJoanna Brown is the Education Programme Manager at Africa Writes. After six years as a primary teacher in Haringey, specialising in Literacy and Reading Enrichment, she is now developing streams of work to support cultural organisations in their delivery of educational programmes. Prior to working in education, she co-ordinated community projects in the housing sector, with a focus on performing arts. Previously she worked as an events co-ordinator at the British Film Institute and the BBC. She is of Sierra Leonean and English descent. Joanna holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and trained to teach at the Institute of Education. At Africa Writes 2017 she moderates the session Archives for Writers, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Sara BruyaSara Bruya is the Managing Editor of Transition: The Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora and Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, journals of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She holds Masters degrees from Emerson College and Harvard Divinity School and was the founding editor of The Phoenix, the campus newspaper of Sarah Lawrence College. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks The Issue of Fear, launch of the Jalada 05/Transition 123 collaborative issue, Saturday 1 July, 16:45-18:00.
Margaret Busby OBEMargaret Busby OBE was the UK’s first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby Ltd, of which she was editorial director for 20 years. She compiled the pioneering anthology Daughters of Africa (1992), and has written for many publications including The Guardian, Independent, New Statesman and Wasafiri. Among prizes she has judged or been associated with are the Caine Prize, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, SI Leeds Literary Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She is an honorary Fellow of Queen Mary College and in 2015 received the Bocas Henry Swanzy Award. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at the tribute event for Buchi Emecheta, Sunday 2 July, 11:30-12:30.
Bwesigye Bwa MwesigireBwesigye Bwa Mwesigire is the cofounder of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence, which curates the Pan African Writivism Literary Initiative. He has published commentary, academic research, fiction and poetry in various periodicals and blogs including African Arguments, Chimurenga Chronic, This is Africa, Africa in Words, Africa is a Country, Saraba among others. He studied Law at Makerere University and Security at the African Leadership Centre (King's College, London). He is a recipient of various fellowships among them the Harry Frank Guggenheim Young African Scholars Award. He currently lives in Kampala. At Africa Writes 2017 he speaks at Africa Writes, Africa Reads: Literary and Cultural Festivals, Sunday 2 July, 15:15-16:30.
Panashe ChigumadziPanashe Chigumadzi was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa. In 2016 best-selling debut novel Sweet Medicine (BlackBird Books 2016) won the K Sello Duiker Literary Award (SA). Her work has appeared in titles such as The New York Times (USA), Transition (USA), The Guardian (UK), Die Ziet (Germany) , Spiegel (Germany), City Press (SA) and The Sunday Times (SA). Her forthcoming monograph on the interwoven politics of hair and land, Beautiful Hair, will be published in 2017. She tweets @panashechig. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at Africa Writes, Africa Reads: Literary and Cultural Festivals, Sunday 2 July, 15:15-16:30.
Kayo ChingonyiKayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987. He is the author of two pamphlets, Some Bright Elegance (Salt, 2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream (Akashic, 2016). He was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize as well as residencies from Kingston University, and Royal Holloway University of London in partnership with Counterpoints Arts. He was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) from Autumn 2015 to Spring 2016. He tweets @KayoChingonyi. At Africa Writes 2017 Kayo performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00, and launches his debut collection of poetry on Saturday 1 July, 11:45-13:00.
Louisa Uchum EgbunikeLouisa Uchum Egbunike is a lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. She completed her PhD at SOAS, where she has also lectured in Contemporary African Literature. In 2016 she was selected to be one of the BBC's New Generation Thinkers which has seen her create content for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts Online. Louisa is currently working on a multifaceted project which reflects on the legacies of the Biafra war. She is one of the founders and conveners of the Annual International Igbo Conference at SOAS. At Africa Writes 2017 Louisa speaks at the tribute event for Buchi Emecheta, Sunday 2 July, 11:30-12:30.
Caleb FemiCaleb Femi is the Young People's Laureate for London. He is also an English teacher, filmmaker and photographer. Caleb's commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral and the Guardian. Caleb has graced major stages such as the Roundhouse main stage, Barbican, British Library, Royal Festival Hall. Caleb won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Genesis Poetry Slam and is currently working on a debut pamphlet. Caleb leads poetry workshops and talks around the UK. As a filmmaker, Caleb has released two documentaries on the topic of Grime music, Roadman culture and masculinity. He tweets @CalebFemi5. At Africa Writes 2017 he hosts the Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase event, Saturday 1 July (by invitation only).
Will FrancisWill Francis joined Janklow & Nesbit in 2008. He represents writers of popular science and narrative history as well as novelists. He has a particular interest in literary fiction, thrillers, speculative fiction, and genre writers with a literary edge, as well as non-fiction rooted in provocative, challenging ideas. Before starting his publishing career at Random House in 2000, he studied at King’s College London, and has lived in the US, India and Australia. He became Director of the UK office in 2013. He tweets @zcosini. At Africa Writes 2017 he joins Meet the Publishers, Saturday 1 July, 11:00-12:30.
Wanjeri GakuruWanjeri Gakuru is a Nairobi-based journalist, scriptwriter and essayist. She is an alumna of the 2014 Farafina Creative Writing Workshop and the 2017 One Fine Day Films workshop. Wanjeri is also a member of pan-African writers’ collective, Jalada Africa, and is on the management team. She served as Festival Producer on the inaugural Jalada Mobile Literary and Arts Festival that traversed the greater East Africa region in March 2017. Wanjeri’s work has appeared in The Africa Report, LA Times Magazine, Brainstorm, JENDa among others. At Africa Writes 2017 Wanjeri speaks at three events on Saturday 1 July - the Jalada Africa showcase at 13:30-15:00, the Kanga Exhibition and Sharing at 15:30-17:00, and The Issue of Fear, 16:45-18:00.
Helon HabilaHelon Habila is an Associate Professor at George Mason University and winner of prestigious prizes such as the Caine Prize for African Writing, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book, Virginia Library Foundation Prize for Fiction and Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction. He is the author of three novels: Waiting for an Angel (2003); Measuring Time (2007); and Oil on Water (2010). His current book, The Chibok Girls, is a work of nonfiction. In 2013, Habila and the publisher, Parresia Books, started a publishing company, Cordite Books, dedicated to publishing African crime and detective stories. He tweets @helonhabila. At Africa Writes 2017 he launches The Chibok Girls Saturday 1 July, 17:00-17:45.
Terrance HayesTerrance Hayes is the author of Lighthead (Penguin 2010), winner of the 2010 National Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books are Wind In a Box (Penguin 2006), Hip Logic (Penguin 2002), and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999). His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a United States Artists Zell Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. How To Be Drawn (Penguin 2015), his most recent collection of poems, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry. At Africa Writes 2017 he in conversation with poets Kayo Chingonyi and Nick Makoha Saturday 1 July, 11:45-13:00.
Funmi IyandaFunmi Iyanda is a multi-award winning TV personality, producer, and journalist. She is a communications consultant working as Executive Director of Oya Media London and the CEO of Ignite Media Lagos. She was the executive producer and host of the revolutionary on-the-road talkshow; Talk With Funmi, Funmi has used the success and influence of her television productions to act as a vehicle for social change and transformation through her 12 year old “Change-A-Life” foundation. Funmi is as a Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum, board member and fellow of the African Leadership Institute Tutu Fellowship, Fellow of Aspen Institute's Global Leadership network and recognised by Forbes Magazine as one of the most powerful women on the Africa continent. She tweets @Funmilola. At Africa Writes 2017 she chairs he launch of The Chibok Girls Saturday 1 July, 17:00-17:45.
Maimouna JallowCo-founder of Positively African, Maimouna Jallow uses traditional African storytelling to reimagine and explore contemporary tales of modernity, identity and all that exists in the cracks in-between. A writer, journalist and lover of words, she has performed at festivals across the African continent and beyond. Her fiction and poetry has appeared in the Fifth Draft and Fresh Paint anthologies. She tweets @MaimounaJallow. At Africa Writes 2017 she performs in Dreams and Deceptions: A Night of Storytelling Saturday 1 July, 18:30-20:00.
Billy KahoraBilly Kahora is Editor at Kwani Trust and has edited 7 issues of the Kwani journal and other Kwani publications including Nairobi 24 and Kenya Burning. He is also a Contributing Editor with the Chimurenga Chronic. He has been Kwani Litfest Curator since 2008 and recently curated Kwani Litfest 2015 Writers In Conversation: Beyond The Map Of English. His work has appeared in Chimurenga, McSweeney’s, Granta Online, Internazionale and Vanity Fair and Kwani. He has written a non-fiction novella titled The True Story Of David Munyakei; his stories Urban Zoning andThe Gorilla’s Apprentice were shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2012 and 2014 respectively. At Africa Writes 2017 he joins the discussion How to Reach the Readers: Publishing in Africa, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Fatimah KelleherFatimah Kelleher is a Nigerian and Irish-British writer and women’s rights advocate working primarily across Africa. She co-founded the spoken word open mic session Urban Griots in 1997. Fatimah has performed widely in the UK as well as abroad, including performances at the City of Women Festival in Slovenia, Poetry International at the South Bank, the Jazz Cafe in Camden, and the Nuyorican in New York. She has had her poetry, articles and essays included in anthologies such as “Velocity” by Apples and Snakes, Sable litmag, and Wasafiri international literary magazine. She also publishes on Black British writing, women’s rights, and African social and economic development issues. She tweets @fatimahkelleher. At Africa Writes 2017 she performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Ndinda KiokoNdinda Kioko is a Kenyan writer and filmmaker whose short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies. She was recently published in the Africa39 project, a selection of 39 African writers under the age of 40 who are expected to shape the African literature of the future. Her works have appeared in several publications including Fresh Paint – Literary Vignettes by Kenyan Women -- and Jalada Africa. Her short fiction was also recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s Shorts. She has written and produced two television shows for Mnet and is currently working on her third. She was a Miles Morland Writing Scholars in 2014. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at the Kanga Exhibition and Sharing, Saturday 1 July, 15:30-17:00.
Goretti KyomuhendoGoretti Kyomuhendo is one of Uganda’s leading novelists. In 2009, she founded and is now Director of the African Writers Trust, an organisation that aims to bridge the divide between African writers and publishing professionals living in the Diaspora and on the continent, bringing them together in order to promote synergies between the groups. She lives in London and Uganda. A recipient of an International Writing Program fellowship at the University of Iowa, Goretti has participated in many literary events internationally. At Africa Writes 2017 she joins the discussion How to Reach the Readers: Publishing in Africa, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Madhu KrishnanMadhu Krishnan, Lecturer of 20th/21st Century Postcolonial Writing, University of Bristol, is the author of Contemporary African Literature in English: Global Locations, Postcolonial Identifications (2014). Her work centres on African and African diaspora writing, publishing and culture, with a particular focus on ‘making’ of African literary institutions. She has published widely in the field of African literatures and her forthcoming monograph, Writing Spatiality in West Africa: Colonial Legacies and the Anglophone /Francophone Novel, will be released by James Currey Press’s African Articulations series in 2018. She convenes the AHRC Research Network, ‘Small Magazines, Literary Networks and Self-Fashioning in Sub-Saharan Africa’ and organises regular literary events in Bristol and the surrounding areas. At Africa Writes 2017 she chairs the conversation with Alain Mabanckou, Sunday 2 July, 17:00.
Lynette LiskLynette Lisk is a literary scout for the international literary agency, Janklow & Nesbit. She was the Commissioning Editor for the African Writers Series at Pearson where she also commissioned educational material for East and West Africa. Lynette has a Masters in African Literature from SOAS University where she explored diverse literary representations of African diasporic experience and taught at the Department of African Languages and Culture. At Africa Writes 2017 she joins Meet the Publishers, Saturday 1 July, 11:00-12:30.
Theresa LolaTheresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet. She was shortlisted for the 2016 Bridport Poetry Prize and 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize. She is a Barbican Young Poet Alumni. She is a part of Octavia Collective for women of colour writers headed by Rachel Long. Alongside Inua Ellams, she co-runs the event RAP Party, a night of poetry and hip-hop. She won the 2017 Hammer and Tongue National Slam. She tweets @theresa_lola. At Africa Writes 2017 she hosts and performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00, and presents poetry of workshop groups in the Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Saturday 1 July (by invitation only).
Rachel LongRachel Long was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon mentorship in 2015. Her work has featured in Magma, The London Magazine, and is forthcoming in Butcher's Dog. She won The Poetry School and Soda Pictures poetry competition 2016. Rachel is Assistant Tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme, and is the leader of Octavia - poetry collective for women of colour - housed at Southbank Centre, London. She tweets @rachelnalong. At Africa Writes 2017 performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00, and presents poetry of workshop groups in the Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Saturday 1 July (by invitation only).
Alain MabanckouAlain Mabanckou is a prolific Francophone Congolese poet and novelist. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels, including African Psycho, Broken Glass, Memoirs of a Porcupine, Black Bazaar and Black Moses. His writing is rich with wordplay, philosophical questions and a wealth of humour that veers from slyly ironic to macabre and absurd. Mabanckou explores language, style and politics, and his journey as a writer beginning in Pointe-Noire. He tweets at @amabanckou. Alain Mabanckou headlines Africa Writes 2017 on Sunday 2 July, 17:00-18:30.
Crystal Mahey-MorganAfter 6 years at Penguin Random House, Crystal Mahey-Morgan left to launch entertainment venture, OWN IT! - a storytelling lifestyle brand interested in telling diverse stories in diverse ways. She is a regular speaker and contributor to conferences, literature festivals, panel discussions and radio and was named on The Bookseller Magazine's 2016 list of Rising Stars and The Hospital Club's list of 100 most creative in the UK in 2016. She tweets @CrystalMMorgan. At Africa Writes, she speaks on the panel 'Meet the Publishers', Saturday 1 July, 11:00 - 12:30.
Nick MakohaNick Makoha is author of Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal Tree Press). Nick is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. Nick won the 2015 Brunel international African Poetry Prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his manuscript Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in The Poetry Review, Rialto, The Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. He is online at www.nickmakoha.com and @NickMakoha. At Africa Writes 2017 launches his debut collection of poetry with Kayo Chingonyi and Terrance Hayes, Saturday 1 July, 11:45-13:00.
Mara MenziesMara Menzies is a performance storyteller, playwright and creative director of Afrika Presents, an educational organisation committed to celebrating the diversity of African cultures through interactive play. Passionate about the power of story in relation to identity, she has led workshops and shared stories across the globe. She is in the seed stages of a project at the Kenyan coast exploring how story can positively impact a rural community. She tweets @marastoryteller. At Africa Writes 2017 she facilitates the Magic of Stories Family Workshops, Saturday 1 July, 10:30-12:00 and 13:00-14:30, and performs in Dreams and Deceptions: A Night of Storytelling Saturday 1 July, 18:30-20:00.
Kei MillerKei Miller is a poet, novelist, essayist, short story writer and broadcaster. His many books include the novel Augustown (W&N, 2016) and poetry collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet, 2014) which won the Forward Prize. In 2010, the Institute of Jamaica awarded him the Silver Musgrave medal for his contributions to literature. He has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow and is a Professor in Creative Writing at Exeter University. He tweets @keimiller. At Africa Writes 2017 he performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
MostlyLitJoin 20-somethings Alex Reads, Reckless Rai and Derek W, presenters of the MostlyLit podcast, in their journey to keep up with the London experience, while exploring the intersection of literature and black culture. Check them out weekly on Soundcloud and iTunes and Spotify Podcast as they discuss key themes in a fun, playful and insightful way. They tweet @mostlylit. At Africa Writes 2017 they host Writing Blackness: Mostly Lit LIVE, Sunday 2 July, 15:45-16:45.
Renée MussaiRenée Mussai is Curator & Head of Archive at Autograph ABP. Over the past 10 years Renée has overseen the establishment of Autograph ABP's Archive and Research Centre at Rivington Place, and organised numerous exhibitions in Europe, Africa and the US. She publishes and lectures internationally on photography and cultural politics, and has been a regular guest curator and non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University since 2009. She is presently a PhD candidate in Art History at University College London, working on politics ‘race' and photography in Victorian Britain and contemporary research-led curatorial practice. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at Archives for Writers, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Zaahida NabagerekaZaahida Nabagereka is currently studying for a PhD in African Languages and Cultures at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research is focusing on literary production processes in Kampala, Uganda. As co-founder of Afrikult. Zaahida is interested in the relationship between politics and literature, and how this often mediates, or in some cases dictates language and form. She tweets @ZNabagereka. At Africa Writes 2017, she chairs the Jalada Africa Mobile Literary and Arts Festival showcase, Saturday 1 July, 13:30-15:00.
Zahrah Nesbitt-AhmedZahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed is a researcher, writer and blogger with extensive experience in gender, urbanisation and international development. She is currently a Technical Specialist on Women’s Economic Empowerment at Social Development Direct. Zahrah is also the founder and editor of bookshy – a labour of love dedicated to African literature – and the curator of ABC, a visual showcase of African Book Covers. She holds a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from University of Reading, an MSc in Urbanisation and Development and a PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies, both from London School of Economics (LSE). She tweets @zahrahnesbitt. At Africa Writes 2017 she co-hosts African Books to Inspire: Buchi Emecheta Bookclub, Sunday 2 July, 12:45-13:45.
Richard Odour OdukuRichard Odour Oduku is a Researcher, Writer and Poet. Studied Biomedical Science and Technology and works as a Research Consultant, in Nairobi. He has been published widely and was longlisted for the BSFA Awards 2015 and shortlisted for the 2016 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. He is a Founding member of Jalada Africa, Festival Coordinator for the 2017 Jalada Mobile Festival, Board Member of Youth on the Move (NGO, Kenya), and Nonfiction Editor at Panorama – The Journal for Intelligent Travel (UK), among others. At Africa Writes 2017 Richard speaks at the Jalada Africa showcase at 13:30-15:00, and the Kanga Exhibition and Sharing at 15:30-17:00, Saturday 1 July and the Translation Roundtable, Sunday 2 July 13:00-14:15.
Jolade OlusanyaJolade Olusanya is a freelance filmmaker, photographer and poet based in East London. He was raised in Nigeria, works in and out of the country with his work and is member of creative collective SXWKS. He recently won the 2017 Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry and was a finalist in the first ever Young Poet Laureate for London programme in 2012. He is also a Barbican Young Poet and creative director at Ronin Steps, a creative production house. He tweets @JoladeO_. At Africa Writes 2017 he performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Sylvester OnwordiSylvester Onwordi is the son of Buchi Emecheta, and a Psychotherapist and Medical Anthropologist. Sylvester also run a small publishing company. At Africa Writes 2017 he speaks at the tribute event for Buchi Emecheta, Sunday 2 July, 11:30-12:30.
Martin OrwinMartin Orwin is a Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic at SOAS, where he has taught since 1992. He studied Arabic and Amharic as an undergraduate at SOAS and he then went on to obtain a PhD in the phonology of Somali. He has published widely on, and has carried out pioneering research on Somali language and poetry. He is author of Colloquial Somali: A Complete Language Course. (Routledge, 1995). At Africa Writes 2017 he chairs the Translation Roundtable, Sunday 2 July, 113:00-14:15.
Lara PawsonLara Pawson was born in London. Her first book In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (2014) was longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2015 and shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2015. This Is the Place to Be is her second book. It has been shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award 2017 and the PEN Ackerley prize 2017, and is currently on the longlist for the Gordon Burn prize 2017. Her journalism, essays and criticism have been widely published. She tweets @LaraPawson. At Africa Writes 2017, she chairs the launch of the English translation of Abdulai Sila's novel 'The Ultimate Tragedy', Sunday 2 July, 15:30-16:15.
Olumide PopoolaOlumide Popoola is London-based Nigerian-German writer, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, the novella This is not about Sadness (Unrast, 2010), the play text Also by Mail(edition assemblage, 2013), the short collection Breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes (Peirene Press, 2016), as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry, the first Black German Literary Award. Olumide has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of East London and has lectured in creative writing at various universities, including Goldsmiths College. She tweets @msolumide. At Africa Writes 2017 she launches her debut novel When We Speak of Nothing with JJ Bola and SA Smythe, Sunday 2 July, 12:45-13:30.
Roger RobinsonRoger Robinson released an album with Disrupt on every reggae lovers favourite label Jahtari in 2015 and is a founding member of King Midas Sound. He has performed worldwide and is an experienced workshop leader and lecturer on poetry. He was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the black-British writing canon. He received commissions from The National Trust, London Open House, The V&A and Theatre Royal Stratford East where he also was Associate Artist. He tweets @rrobinson72. At Africa Writes 2017 he performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Amaal SaidAmaal Said is a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet based in London. Her photographs have been featured in Vogue, The Guardian and The New Yorker. She is concerned with storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. She is a member of the Burn After Reading Poetry Collective as well as the Octavia Collective, and she is also a former Barbican Young Poet. She won Wasafiri Magazine’s New Writing Prize for Poetry in 2015. She tweets @amaalsaid. At Africa Writes 2017 she performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Aki SchilzAki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-established editorial consultancy, founded in 1996. At TLC, Aki manages a team of 90 editors and mentors. She is co-founder of the #LossLit Twitter writing project with publisher Kit Caless, and co-editor of LossLit Magazine. Aki’s poetry, flash fiction, short stories and creative non-fiction have been published in various magazines, online and in print. She tweets books, editing and publishing at @TLCUK, and micropoetry at @AkiSchilz. At Africa Writes 2017 she chairs Meet the Publishers, Saturday 1 July, 11:00-12:30.
Emma ShercliffEmma Shercliff is a director of Cassava Republic Press (UK) and Publishing Director for romance imprint Ankara Press. Emma has worked for publishing houses in the UK, US, France and Australia, and was formerly Managing Director of Macmillan English Campus, a global digital publishing division of Macmillan Publishers. She is a PhD candidate at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London; her doctoral research explores and documents the role of female publishers in shaping the literary landscape in Africa. Emma has worked as a consultant for the British Council in Iran and Nigeria. She holds an MA in Modern Languages from Cambridge University. At Africa Writes 2017 she chairs the discussion How to Reach the Readers: Publishing in Africa, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Abdulai SiláBorn in 1958, Abdulai Silá lives in Bissau and combines telecommunications work with writing. He is the author of four novels: Eterna Paixão, A Última Tragédia, Mistida and Memórias SOManticas, as well as two plays: As Oracoes de Mansata and Dois Tiros e Uma Gargalhada. He has also written short stories and several scientific articles on Energy, Telecommunications, Appropriated Technology and Education. He holds a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technische Universitaet Dresden (Germany). At Africa Writes 2017 he launches his novel translated into English, The Ultimate Tragedy, Sunday 2 July, 15:30-16:15.
SA SmytheSA Smythe is a Black genderqueer writer currently living between London and Los Angeles, constantly scheming up new ways to get us free. Smythe is the publishing editor for THEM, Associate Editor for Scarf, and was former Reviews Editor for Critical Contemporary Culture Journal and contributing curator/writer at okayafrica. SA does translation work in six languages and organises in Black queer and trans abolitionist writing collectives around the world. Follow them on Twitter @essaysmythe. At Africa Writes 2017, SA chairs the book launches of JJ Bola and Olumide Popoola, 12:45-13:30.
Yomi SodeYomi Sode balances the fine line between Nigerian and British cultures, which can be humorous, loving, self-reflective and, at times, uncomfortable. Over the past nine years, Yomi has had work commissioned by The Mayor’s Office, BBC World Service/ BBC Africa, Channel4, various charities and recently presented a poem at the UN Humanitarian Summit. He tweets @YomiSode. At Africa Writes 2017 he performs at the R.A.P. Party, Friday 30 June, 19:30-23:00.
Ade SolankeAde Solanke is a playwright, screenwriter, and founder of Spora Stories, creating plays and films about the African diaspora. She lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich. Her award-winning plays include the acclaimed 'Pandora's Box', nominated for Best New Play in the Off West End Theatre Awards, and BEFTTA-winning East End Boys, West End Girls. She worked as a story analyst for Hollywood studios in LA and has taught scriptwriting at Goldsmiths and internationally (with the British Council) in Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere. She was a judge for the 2016 South African Writers' Guild Awards and is a judge for Nollywood Movies Awards. She's developing a script about Afro Bohos in Notting Hill. Ade tweets @sporastories. At Africa Writes 2017 she chairs the tribute event for Buchi Emecheta, Sunday 2 July, 11:30-12:30.
Ruth SorbyRuth Sorby is the UK based Development Manager at Worldreader, a global literacy not-for-profit which aims to put libraries of digital books in the hands of children and families across the world. Worldreader works closely with device manufacturers, local and international publishers, governments, education officials and local communities to promote digital reading, especially in areas where books are a scarce resource. AW2017: How to Reach the Readers: Publishing In Africa.
Toni StuartToni Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator. Her work has been published in anthologies, journals and non-fiction books internationally. She is one half of international poetry/music duo, Gertrude & Jemima, with UK poet/drummer Remi Graves She has an MA Writer/Teacher from Goldsmiths, where she was a Chevening Scholar. She tweets @nomadpoet.
Louise UmutoniLouise Umutoni is a Rwandan publisher, communications expert and writer. She is the founder of Huza Press, a Rwandan-based publishing press which runs the country’s biggest prize for fiction and is devoted to supporting African literary craftsmanship. Previously, Louise worked as a journalist, writing for the Gazette and Ottawa Citizen in Canada, New Times Rwanda and Enterprise Magazine, and studied at the University of Oxford before returning to Rwanda to create the country’s first women’s writing group, Andika Ma. Her academic research has been selected for the Winihin-Jemide grant and Aegis Trust research grant. She is currently working on a book that looks at the role of women in national liberation movements in Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. She tweets @louiseumutoni. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at the Jalada Africa Showcase, Saturday 1 July, 13:30-15:00 and How to Reach the Readers: Publishing in Africa, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.
Baba Adesose WallaceBaba Adesose Wallace is a master percussionist, artist, teacher, philanthropist and social commentator. After coming to London in the early 1980s, Ade formed IBILE. He has graced the stage at Glastonbury and WOMAD leaving audiences in awe. His avid enthusiasm for the use of traditional African instruments gave birth to a distinctive sound – brewing an intricate blend of blues, jazz, afro funk and psychedelia – 100% unplugged; the sound churned out by this incredibly dynamic band utilises mostly traditional African instruments. At Africa Writes 2017 he accompanies Maimouna Jallow in the performance Dreams and Deceptions: A Night of Storytelling, Saturday 1 July, 18:30-20:00.
Dr Marion WallaceDr Marion Wallace is Lead Curator, Africa at the British Library, and was co-curator of the British Library’s major exhibition ‘West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song’ (Oct 2015–Feb 2016). Marion holds a PhD in Namibian history, and has previously worked at the UK National Archives. She is a committee member of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), and sits on the Advisory Panel of the Endangered Archives Programme. She continues to research and write on the history of Namibia, and has also published on West Africa and on the impact of digitisation on African Studies. At Africa Writes 2017 she speaks at the session Archives for Writers, Sunday 2 July, 14:00-15:15.