Africa Writes Pop-Up: Birmingham

Africa Writes Pop-Up: Birmingham
Monday 9 October
13:00 – 17:00, Danford Room, 2nd Floor, Arts Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT
20:00 – 21:30,  Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, B1 2ND

Africa Writes, the UK’s biggest annual African literature and book festival brought to you by the Royal African Society, comes to Birmingham for the first time on Monday 9 October 2017. In partnership with the Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) at the University of Birmingham, and the Birmingham Literature Festival,  the festival presents an exciting afternoon programme celebrating contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora at the University, followed by a headline author event with Chinelo Okparanta at the Library of Birmingham in the evening. The programme includes book launches with established and emerging writers, including: Jowhor Ile, author of And After Many Days (2017), Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing (2017) and Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees (2015), as well as a creative writing workshop on ‘The Spirit of Place’ with DASA Teaching Fellow and poet Jo Skelt. Looking at themes of hidden histories, forbidden love, families and writing between continents, Africa Writes Pop-Up Birmingham presents an exciting and engaging programme for African literature fans and newcomers alike.  

Festival events in the afternoon are free and open to all.

Tickets for Chinelo Okparanta in conversation (20:00 – 21:30) are £8 / £6.40 concs. Booking:

Chinelo Okparanta was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A University of Iowa Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Fiction as well as a Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction, Okparanta received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012 and is a Lambda Award winner for Lesbian Fiction, an O. Henry Short Story Prize winner, a finalist for the Rolex Mentors and Proteges Arts Initiative, a finalist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and a finalist for the Caine Prize, among others. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. In 2017, Okparanta was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.

Jowhor Ile is the author of And After Many Days which was awarded the Etisalat Prize for Literature. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Lit Hub, Litro Magazine. He earned his MFA at Boston University where he was recipient of the Leslie Epstein Global Fellowship. Jowhor was born in Obagi and reared in Port Harcourt, both in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Olumide 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. When We Speak of Nothing (Cassava Republic Press, 2017) is her debut novel.

Africa Writes 2017 Pop-Up: Birmingham is brought to you by the Royal African Society in partnership with Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Literature Festival and Writing West Midlands. The festival is also supported by Arts Council England and Sigrid Rausing Trust.