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The event flyer.

African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) and Angels & Muse—Victor Ehikhamenor’s artsy co-working space—is bringing to Lagos an intimate evening of poetry, music, and stimulating conversation with Gbenga Adesina and Kechi Nomu, two of the best known Nigerian poets of the new generation. The event is themed “Private Histories, Bodies and Radical Tenderness” and will be moderated by the poet Efe Paul Azino, founder of the Lagos International Poetry Festival.

Adesina and Nomu will read from their APBF-published chapbooks—Painter of Water (Akashic Books, 2016) and Acts of Crucifixion (Akashic Books, 2018), respectively—as well as from newer works “that center love, loss, the body in flux, the body as history’s site, tenderness, feminism, reimagining masculinity, and intimacy.”

Gbenga Adesina jointly won the 2016 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. That same year, his poem, “How To Paint A Girl,” was selected by Mathew Zapruder for its “clarity of observation, and empathetic insight into the suffering of another” for The New York Times. “How to Paint a Girl” was shortlisted for the inaugural Brittle Paper Award for Poetry in 2017. His poetry chapbook, Painter of Water (Akashic Books, 2016), was published in the New Generation African Poets Box Set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. His poetry manuscript, Holy Bodies, was a finalist for the 2017 Sillerman First Book Prize. Adesina received the 2018 Hugh J. Luke Award from Prairie Schooner as well as scholarships and residencies from the Open Society Foundation on Goree Island, Senegal; Norman Mailer Poetry Center at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California; Fine Arts Work Centre, Provincetown; Callaloo at Oxford, among others. He is a Starworks Poetry Fellow at New York University where he also teaches Undergraduate Creative Writing.

Kechi Nomu was a finalist for the 2017 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Acts of Crucifixion (Akashic Books, 2018), has just been published as part of the New-Generation African Poets Box Set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. Her culture writing has appeared in Voices of Africa, The Theatre Times, Olisa Blogazine, OpenDemocracy and elsewhere. She traveled with the Invisible Border during their 2017 TransAfrican Project. She was until recently the Managing Editor for the African poetry press Konya Shamsrumi.

Here the event details.

DATE: Sunday, July 15th, 2018.

TIME: 4:00 PM.

VENUE:  ANGELS & MUSE, 5 Sumbo Jibowu Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

SPONSORS:

Angels & Muse, renown artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor’s latest project, is an artsy co-working space and gallery. It’s “a creative hub for nurturing and empowering artistic talent” and providing “support system for expression, productivity and education for the best creative hands and minds in Nigeria and around the world.”

AFRICAN POETRY BOOK FUND (APBF) promotes and advances the development and publication of African poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa. It has published over 60 chapbooks up to date, launching some of the most spectacular writing careers on the continent in less than a decade. According to the Washington Post, “The chapbooks, as a group, dispel stereotypes about African writing. The insights are poignant and valuable.”

If you are in Lagos, just don’t miss this!

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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