Posts tagged ‘awe’

Thursday 7 July 2011: Ben Okri & Sarah Ladipo Manyika

July 7th, 2011

AFRICAN WRITERS’ EVENING (Talk Series) featuring Sarah Ladipo Manyika and Ben Okri
Thursday 7  July 2011, 7.20 pm (doors) 7.45 pm (start)
Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
8.00 / 4.00 (conc/limted) [ SOLD OUT ]

To celebrate the South Bank’s history as a brewery site, African Writers’ Evening explores the role of the bar as a key location in fiction. The evening features readings and conversation with Ben Okri, whose Madame Koto’s Bar plays a pivotal role in the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, and Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of the novel In Dependence, in which bars in Oxford, Jos and San Francisco play a role. The readings and discussions will be moderated by writer and social commentator, Nii Ayikwei Parkes.


Ben Okri: Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in Minna, northern Nigeria and grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968. Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria. A former poetry editor for West Africa magazine, he started writing in the 70s but came to prominence in 1991 when his third novel, The Famished Road, the first in a trilogy, won the Booker Prize for fiction. Ben has won several awards since then, including the Premio Palmi (Italy) and was named an OBE in 2001. His most recent book is A Time for New Dreams, a book of essays.


Sarah Ladipo Manyika: Raised in Nigeria, Sarah Ladipo Manyika has lived in Kenya, England and France. After undergraduate study in the Universities of Birmingham and Bordeaux, she completed her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley and now lectures in English Literature at San Francisco State University. Sarah has published essays, academic papers, book reviews and short stories. Her novel, In Dependence, was published in 2008.

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Friday 25 March 2011: Nadifa Mohamed, Kayo Chingonyi

March 16th, 2011

AFRICAN WRITERS’ EVENING featuring Nadifa Mohamed; introducing Kayo Chingonyi and Luul Hussein
Friday 25 March 2011, 7.20 pm (doors) 7.45 pm (start)
Blue Room, Spirit Level, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
8.00 / 4.00 (conc/limted) [ BOOK HERE ]

African Writers’ Evening starts the new year with new stars. Two years ago we featured Nadifa Mohamed as a rising star and she now has a Betty Trask Award to her name. We are proud to welcome her back alongside two fresh names we are sure you will be hearing great things from in the next five years: Kayo Chingonyi and Luul Hussein.


Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed: Born in Hargeisa, Somalia in 1981 as the country fell into dictatorship, Nadifa Mohamed moved to London with her family in 1986, just before the beginnings of civil war as Siad Barre lost his grip on power. Her début novel, Black Mamba Boy, based on the true story of her father’s life in 1930s, was published in 2009 and was longlisted for
the Orange Prize and shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Prize, The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize as well as the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize. Nadifa attended Oxford where she studied History and Politics and lives in London.


Kayo Chingonyi

Kayo Chingonyi: A widely anthologised poet and  emerging writer-in-residence at Kingston University, Kayo Chingonyi has performed his work across the UK and internationally, with the British Council, at such venues and events as Tate Britain, London Literature Festival, The Big Chill, The RSC Swan Theatre, New Space Theatre (Cape Town) and Museum Africa (Johannesburg).


Luul Hussein is a student of Cranford Community College whose penchant for writing haunting short stories has been nurtured in secret and fine-tuned by the First Story initiative that runs in her school. This will be her first fully-public reading.

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Book Discussion – September 17: Vote for your book

August 17th, 2010

On September 17 we’ll be having a slightly different African Writers Evening; a book discussion like no other. On arrival at the discussion, each of the first 30 readers presenting their copy of the book on the evening will be given £4 towards the cost of the book. So, rather than pick the book for you, we want you to pick the book. Below is a list of the bestselling books from our recent African Book Market plus books from our most recent features – 11 books for you to choose from. At the end of August, we will end the poll to give you time to read the book before the event. We will announce the discussion leaders at the same time.

Which book would you like to discuss on Sept. 17 2010

  • Bitter Leaf by Chioma Okereke (59%, 17 Votes)
  • Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes (21%, 6 Votes)
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (10%, 3 Votes)
  • True Murder by Yaba Badoe (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Harare North by Brian Chikwava (3%, 1 Votes)
  • The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Broken Glass by Alain Mabankou (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Imagine This by Sade Adeniran (0%, 0 Votes)
  • The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed (0%, 0 Votes)
  • While You Were Dreaming… by Lola Jaye (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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AFRICAN BOOK MARKET – Friday July 16, 2010

July 14th, 2010

AFRICAN BOOK MARKET is a ground-breaking FREE event at the Poetry Cafe, London

For many years audiences of African Writers’ Evening have complained about how hard it is to locate books by African writers in mainstream bookshops. Even when they are in stock, they are rarely in a consistent section: sometimes in a special ‘Black’ section, sometimes with the ‘normal’ books. While a lot of this is changing African Writers’ Evening have organised this event to achieve two things –
1) make a sizeable array of books by African writers published in the UK available in one place at discounted prices
(some of the publishers involved are Random House/Vintage, Profile/Serpents Tail, flipped eye/mouthmark, little brown/Virago and Routledge/Wasafiri.)
2) bring the authors and some of the publishers into the marketplace so they can see that there are actual lovers of African writing out there, while providing a forum for possible dialogue and interaction.

The way the AFRICAN BOOK MARKET works is simple:

* It is on from 5-10pm on July 16 2010 at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.
* It is FREE
* You can STOP IN anytime 5pm and 10pm
* There will be books by African writers from major as well as smaller publishing houses AT DISCOUNT PRICES. Also available will be magazines that feature and review writing from Africa.
* Some members of staff from the publishing houses will be present.
* Authors, including many of our previous features such as Yaba Badoe will be dropping in at various times during the day to sign books and talk to readers. Follow us on twitter or facebook to be kept updated on the authors who are coming at very specific times: Twitter | Facebook

walk inbuy a bookenjoy!

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November 20, 2009: Nadifa Mohamed @ Southbank Centre

November 11th, 2009

AFRICAN WRITERS’ EVENING feat. Nadifa Mohammed & a parade of emerging writers
Friday 20 November 2009, 7.30pm
Weston Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
FREE (Invitation only – please send your name by e-mail to events [at] x-bout [DOT] com

For our annual finale, African Writers’ Evening returns to its exploratory origins – with four short readings from emerging writers, followed by a featured reading from Nadifa Mohammed, a Somalian writer who is herself still waiting for the release of her first novel by HarperCollins. Hosted by Nii Ayikwei Parkes.

Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed

NADIFA MOHAMED – Born in Hargeisa, Somalia in 1981 as the country fell into dictatorship, Nadifa Mohamed moved to London with her family in 1986, just before the beginnings of civil war as Siad Barre lost his grip on power. She was educated in London and went to Oxford to study History and Politics. Her début novel, Black Mamba Boy, based on the true story of her father’s life in 1930s, was acquired by HarperCollins UK in 2008. Nadifa is currently working on her second novel.

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September 18, 2009: Hisham Matar and Leeto Thale

September 14th, 2009
AFRICAN WRITERS’ EVENING feat. Hisham Matar & Leeto Thale
Friday 18 September 2009
7.30pm (doors)
Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London (Covent Garden tube)
4.00 / 3.00 (conc)

This September, African Writers’ Evening features debut unpublished novelist Leeto Thale (South Africa) alongside our most famous previous unpublished novelist, Hisham Matar (Libya) for a feast embracing Northern and Southern Africa, celebrating endeavour and success. As usual, there will be floor spots from some of the emerging African writers on the UK scene. Hosted by Nii Ayikwei Parkes.


Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar was born in New York in 1970, spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived in London since 1986. His first novel In the Country of Men, was written in a captivating child’s voice and won universal acclaim, being shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Guardian First Book Prize and winning several awards including the Commonwealth Prize and Ondaatje Prize. He has also written articles and commentary for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and The New York Times. Hisham has recently completed an early draft of his second novel.

LEETO THALE: Leeto Thale was born in Soweto, South Africa where he was schooled both in Soweto’s public schools and later in the private education initiatives designed to counter the under-education of Black children by the South African government at the time. A podiatrist who dreamed of playing professional football, Leeto’s love of writing and music was nurtured while working for the Steve Biko Foundation. He has since written for numerous publications in South Africa and the UK, is a published poet, and also dabbles in singing and songwriting. Leeto, continues to practice as a Podiatrist, while making inroads with his art. He has just returned from performing at WOMAD and is in the final stages of composing his music album, as well as his first novel.

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AWE – NYC: with Mohammed Naseehu Ali & Patrice Nganang

August 31st, 2009

AFRICAN WRITERS’ EVENING feat. Mohammed N. Ali & Patrice Nganang
Friday 11 September 2009, 7.00pm (doors open)
Venue: The Bowery Club, 308 Bowery, New York 10012 (Between Houston and Bleecker – F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker)
Ticket: $10

After six years running in the UK, where we have gone from humble beginnings in the storied Poetry Café to regular events at London’s leading arts venue, the Southbank Centre, African Writers’ Evening heads to New York to share some work from West and Central Africa. Former NYPL fellow, Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana) reads alongside Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Afrique Noire winner Patrice Nganang (Cameroon) in what promises to be a scintillating evening of some of the best literature coming out of Africa. Join us on Friday 11 September, 2009 for a groundbreaking evening in New York. Hosted by author and publisher Nii Ayikwei Parkes.

Patrice Nganang

Patrice Nganang

Patrice Nganang
Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 1970, Patrice studied Comparative Literature at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Germany), from which he also holds a PhD. He published a collection of poems, Elobi, in 1995, and has since written four novels, of which the most acclaimed is Temps de chien, which was awarded the Prix Marguerite Yourcenar (2001) and the Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Afrique Noire (2002). Temps de chien has been translated into German (Hundezeiten) and English (Dog Days, University of Virginia Press).

Patrice is Assistant Professor of Literary Theory at SUNY – Stony Brook and is a recognised African literature specialist contributing regularly to academic journals around the world.


Mohammed N. Ali

Mohammed N. Ali

Mohammed Naseehu Ali
Born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1971, Mohammed Naseehu Ali is a writer and musician. A 2007 New York Public Library Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers fellow, he is the author of the short story collection, The Prophet of Zongo Street (Amistad, 2005).  As a musician he has composed original soundtracks for independent movies and written music for DVD trivia games based on the blockbusters Shrek and Madagascar. Mohammed is a graduate of Bennington College and his fiction and essays have featured in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Mississippi Review, Bomb, Gathering of the Tribes and Essence. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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