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Goethe-Institut Nigeria and Wawa Book Review have partnered for two literary events in Lagos, both to be held at Angels & Muse, Ikoyi. The first, to take place on Wednesday, 29 May, and Thursday, 30 May, is a residential writing workshop themed “Locations of African Literature: The State of Literary Criticism.” Featuring nine fellows of the Wawa Book Review Young Literary Critics Fellowship and a volunteer from the magazine, it is aimed at assisting participants improve their writing of critical nonfiction. It marks the end of the participants’ 10-month long fellowship.

The second, to happen on Friday, 31 May, is a public conversation themed “What is Happening in African Literature Today?” Featuring the Kenyan Otieno Owino, former assistant editor at Kwani?, the Moroccan M. Lynx Qualey, founder of Arab Lit, and the South African curator, translator and journalist Indra Wussow, founder of Sylt Foundation, the event “will provide insight into contemporary developments in African writing—fiction and nonfiction—from different parts of the continent. In addition, questions surrounding the field of translation, including the reception of African literature in Germany, will be discussed.”

Both events will be moderated by Joy Chime, Managing Editor of Wawa Book Review.

DETAILS OF THE EVENTS

1. “Locations of African Literature: The State of Literary Criticism”: A Workshop

Date: 29–30 May 2019

Venue: Angels & Muse, 5 Sumbo Jibowu Street, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

Time: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

A residential writing workshop for nine fellows of the Wawa Book Review Young Literary Critics Fellowship and a Wawa Book Review volunteer.

The nine fellows come from across Nigeria and were the winners of a writing contest that took place in April 2018. The Wawa Book Review volunteer who is participating in the workshop is Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adegoke of the University of Benin, an editor, literary critic and poet from Ibadan, Nigeria. Tọ́pẹ́ is the co-publisher of Fortunate Traveller, a travel journal. He is also the administrator of the Kofi Awoonor Memorial Library, Ibadan. He writes for FilmsandCinemas.

The aim is to help the participants improve their writing of critical nonfiction. The workshop also marks the end of the 10 month long fellowship program.

2. “What Is Happening in African Literature Today?” A Public Conversation 

Date: 29–30 May 2019

Venue: Angels & Muse, 5 Sumbo Jibowu Street, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

Time: 6:00 p.m.

The conversation will provide insight into contemporary developments in African writing—fiction and nonfiction—from different parts of the continent. In addition, questions surrounding the field of translation, including the reception of African literature in Germany, will be discussed.

The three invited guest speakers and workshop facilitators:

Otieno Owino worked for four years as an Assistant Editor at the Kenyan literary publisher Kwani? Trust, where he was part of the editorial teams on the Kwani? Manuscript Project and Kwani? journal. He was Junior Editor for Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, an anthology put together by Commonwealth Writers in which he worked with renowned editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey. His recent project was co-editing Short Story Day Africa’s ID anthology (2018). Otieno completed an MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling, UK, in 2017 as a Commonwealth Scholar. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

M. Lynx Qualey is a critic, book editor, translator, and independent scholar who runs ArabLit website (www.arablit.org), which won a 2017 London Book Fair Award. She also publishes ArabLit Quarterly magazine and co-hosts Bulaq Podcast. Her translation of the middle-grade novel Ghady and Rawan, by Fatima Sharafeddine and Samar Mahfouz Barraj, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press (August 2019), and she recently won the 2019 Columbia College Literary Review Editors’ Prize for her short story “Tell a Stranger What You Do.” M-Lynx Qualey lives in Rabat, Morocco.

Indra Wussow studied Comparative Literature and Translating in Erlangen, Germany, Berkeley, US, and Florence, Italy, and is working as a freelance curator, writer, literary translator and journalist. She is the editor of a series of contemporary African fiction called Africa Wunderhorn that “is regarded as pioneer work, focused on introducing contemporary African Literature to a German-speaking readership.” She has translated several works of fiction from English and Italian into German, and has published literary reviews extensively in both German and South African newspapers and magazines. Her private NGO, Sylt Foundation, has connected numerous artists and writers through residencies and interdisciplinary art projects since 2004. Currently, Indra Wussow is the chief curator of the Sylt Foundation’s long-term project “Transformation & Identity, Trauma & Reconciliation,” that brings together writers and artists from across the globe to collaboratively re-visit national histories, transformations and the related trauma. Indra Wussow currently lives in Johannesburg and Yangon, Myanmar.

For enquiries, please contact Katja Kellerer, Head of Information and Library at Goethe-Institut Nigeria: katja.kellerer@goethe.de

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young 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 attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he got an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies. He 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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