L-R: Arinze Ifeakandu, Ainehi Edoro, Unoma Azuah, and Itiola Jones.

As revealed earlier this month, Brittle Paper will be at the 2019 Lambda Literary Festival in Los Angeles, on Friday, September 27. We will be featured in an event focused both on our curatorial work in African literature and on the work of queer writers and the evolution of representations of queerness in Nigerian literature. This year’s festival, themed “All the Feelings: A Celebration of Queer Emotion,” will last from September 21 to September 28 and will feature 40+ free events and 1,500+ writers and readers.

The Brittle Paper event, convened by the Lamda Award-nominated American journalist and former senior editor at Out magazine Anne-christine d’Adesky, will begin with d’Adesky interviewing our founder Ainehi Edoro. The second panel will see d’Adesky and Ainehi in conversation with Unoma Azuah, Arinze Ifeakandu, and Itiola Jones. Their panel will extend our 2017 anniversary conversation themed “Un-Silencing Queer Nigeria: The Language of Emotional Truth.”


Date: Friday, September 27, 2019.

Time: 6 P.M.

Venue: Plummer Park, West Hollwyood, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Here are all you need to know about our five panelists.

Unoma Azuah. Photo credit: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune.

Unoma Azuah teaches writing at the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. She has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, Queens University, Maynooth University, University of Cape Town, and State University of New York.

Her research and activism focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Nigeria. She edited Blessed Body: Secret Lives of LGBT Nigerians (2016) and Mounting the Moon: Queer Nigerian Poetry (2017). She won the Hellman/Hammett Award and the Urban Spectrum Award for her debut novel Sky-high Flame, and the Snyder-Aidoo Book Award for her second novel Edible Bones.

In 2011, she was listed as one of the top professors at small private colleges in the United States in the online publication, Affordable/Private Colleges and Universities in the United States.

Arinze Ifeakandu - photo credit to Santiago Sanchez
Arinze Ifeakandu. Photo credit: Santiago Sanchez.

Arinze Ifeakandu is Editor-in-Chief of 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective and magazine, which has released two issues: We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). His fiction has appeared in A Public Space and One Story. His short story, “God’s Children Are Little Broken Things,” was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2017. He has completed a collection of short stories and is represented by Jin Auh at The Wylie Agency.

Arinze is currently studying for an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2013, he attended the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Born in Kano, Nigeria, in 1995, he studied English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, between 2012 and 2016, where he mostly attended choir practice while serving at various points as custodian of The Writers’ Community, Editor of the university literary journal The Muse, and an often-harried choir librarian and class rep. 

Itiola Jones. Photo credit: Nicholas Nicholas.

Itiola Jones is a queer American / Nigerian poet and music journalist. She is a Graduate Fellow with The Watering Hole and holds fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT Writer’s Retreat, and Brooklyn Poets. She is the 2018 winner of the Brittle Paper Award in Poetry. She hosts a month-long workshop every April, called The Singing Bullet.

She is a Book Editor with Indolent Books, Editor at Voicemail Poems, freelances for Complex, Earmilk, NBC News Think, Ambrosia for Heads, and elsewhere. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Kweli Journal, Winter Tangerine, The Rumpus, The Offing, The Shade Journal, great weather for MEDIA, Anomalous Press, and elsewhere.

She is an MFA candidate in Poetry at UW-Madison as well as the first Kemper K. Knapp University Fellowship recipient. She splits her time between Southern California and New York.

Ainehi Edoro. Photo credit: Victor Adewale.

Ainehi Edoro, founder and editor of Brittle Paper, is Assistant Professor of Global Black Literatures at the University of Winscosin-Madison’s Department of English and Department of African Cultural Studies. She was formerly Assistant Professor of Global Anglophone Literatures at Marquette University. She has a B.A. from Morgan State University, an M.A. from Kansas University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Ainehi has presented lectures about her work at Yale, Northwestern, The Art Institute of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and at the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway. Her academic writing has appeared in The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Enquiry. Her essays on the African and global literary and cultural scenes have appeared in The GuardianOkayAfricaChimurenga ChronicAfrica Is a Country, Ventures Africa, and Norway’s Dagsavisen newspaper and Stemmer Magasin, among others. She is currently working on a book, Forest Imaginaries: How African Novels Think.

Ainehi is an editor at the University of Ohio’s Modern African Series. She sits on the advisory boards of The Bare Life Review and The Village Square magazines.

In 2016, Ainehi was included in New African magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans,” with Nigeria’s The Guardian reporting her to be among the “Five Most Influential Nigerian Women of 2016.” In 2018, she was included in OkayAfrica’s “100 Women” list.

Born in 1982, she grew up in Benin City, Nigeria.

Anne-christine d’Adesky. Photo from Beyond Shock.

Anne-christine d’Adesky, creator of Bodies On The Line and The Kiki HIV Reporting Scholarship, is an investigative journalist, author of four books, and documentary filmmaker who reported on the global AIDS epidemic for New York NativeOUTThe Nation, and The Village Voice. She received the first Award of Courage from amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. She was an early member of ACT UP, co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers, and she launched the Bay Area Queer Anti-Fascist Network after the 2016 election.

Her books include the 2018 Lambda Award finalist The Pox Lover: An Activist’s Decade in New York and Paris, Beyond Shock: Charting the Landscape of Sexual Violence in Post-Quake Haiti, Moving Mountains: The Race to Treat Global AIDS, and Under the Bone, a novel set in post-Duvalier Haiti.

D’Adesky currently writes for KQED ScienceFuture of You Blog, PrideLifeand others and is working on her next book. She lives in Oakland, CA with kids and dog.

For more information about the event, please email us at [email protected].