At African Writers Trust, we are gearing up for a Literary Feast in May, 2012. In partnership with DOEN Foundation and British Council, we have invited a performance poet, an international publisher and a leading literary agent, all from the UK to come to Uganda and engage with writers, publishers, editors, poets, academics, journalists, students and readers in a wide range of activities. These will include workshops, seminars, readings, lectures and social events.
To learn more about our featured speakers, please read on.
Nii was born in the UK and raised in Ghana. He is a performance poet, novelist, editor, broadcaster and sociocultural commentator. He is the author of several poetry books including The Makings of You (2010) and a novel, Tail of the Blue Bird (2009) which was shortlisted for 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize and has now been translated into Dutch and German. Nii holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck (university of London). He is the senior editor at Flipped Eye Publishing and serves on a number of boards including the Caine Prize. He is one of the judges for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize. An experienced performance poet of his work Nii has appeared at readings all over the world and often leads writing and performance workshops. He lives in London and Accra. Nii will conduct a poetry and mentoring workshop for emerging Ugandan poets and university students.
Ellah is the deputy editor of Granta Publishing in the UK. Before joining Granta in 2009, she was senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House where she introduced and commissioned a list of acclaimed and award-winning young African writers including Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe) Chika Unigwe (Nigeria) and Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopia). In 2011, Ellah was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the publishing industry. She was on the judging panel of the Caine Prize in 2010 and 2011.
David has been a literary agent for fifteen years. Before that he was a publisher at Heinemann, Secker and Warburg and Jonathan Cape. David Godwin Associates specialises in a wide range of international clients including Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things 1997) Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy 1993) Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger 2008) as well as a host of other writers including Pippa Middleton. David has represented a number of leading contemporary African writers including Aminatta Forna, (Sierra Leone) Helon Habila (Nigeria) and Doreen Baingana (Uganda)
David and Ellah will workshops and seminars for book, magazine and journal editors on topics including Digital and Web publishing, practical editing, copy editing, commissioning, Best Practice guidelines for editors, Marketing and Publicity and others.
The highlight of this literary feast will be a public dialogue/debate focusing on the theme: Where is Africa’s Great Novel?