The African Writers’ Evening is the first regular evening held for African Writers at the UK’s celebrated Poetry Cafe. It was started in 2003 by Nii Ayikwei Parkes in consultation with the Directors of the Poetry Society after he completed a residency at the Poetry Cafe and is now run by London SLAM* Central, an organisation started by Nii, Marrianne San Miguel and Agnes Meadows.
The solid reputation of African Writers’ Evening is based on its ability to consistently identify and feature talented emerging writers. Diana Evans and Hisham Matar were both featured prior to their début publications and two of 2007’s features Ken Kamoche and Sade Adeniran were shortlisted for the 2008 Commonwealth Prize for their first books. The event is held quarterly from March with occasional special events, such as the AWE Heritage Series launched at the Southbank Centre on July 6 2009 and AWE/NYC, which is scheduled for September 2009.