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Brittle Paper‘s deputy editor Otosirieze Obi-Young was recently profiled on Literary Hub. The October 3 feature is titled “On a Progressive Platform for New African Literature” and is one of those long-overdue recognitions that are heartwarming. It was a timely for our #QueerYourAfricanRead project and was published just after our panel at the 2019 Lambda Literary Festival.

In it, Otosirieze highlights the work of queer African writers and allies challenging stereotypical narratives of queerness. When asked to list his top ten, he acknowledges the limitation of the question:

As an editor, the list of queer writers he admires is so long he protested when asked to pick his top five, then ten. “Only ten? But there are so many deserving!” He mentioned Dibia along with Arinze Ifeakandu, Romeo Oriogun, and Pwaangulongii Dauod, as well as Jude Dibia and journalist Chike Frankie Edozien, whose Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man won the 2018 Lammy for best gay memoir. Other notables are Mark Gevisser, Olumide Popoola, Chibuihe Achimba, Trifonia Melibia Obono. He also named Unoma Azuah. . . who edited 2016’s Blessed Body: The Secret Lives of LGBT Nigerian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

Otosirieze said he’s excited to push forward lesser-known talents, because there are few African-led mainstream outlets for queer writers. “Most literary initiatives start with and run on nothing but their founder’s money, like Brittle Paper,” Otosirieze said. “There’s so much that we could do, that we want to do, but for funds. Queer writers and projects in Africa need opportunities, but their founders, so full of ideas and daring, continue to push forward without those. I imagine what could be if we had those.

Otosirieze, 25, currently sits on the judging panels of the Miles Morland Foundation Scholarships, the most prestigious grant in the continent, and the Gerald Kraak Prize, Africa’s first art and literary award for gender, sexuality, and human rights. He completed a short story collection in 2016 and is working on a novel. Most recently, we published his report, “Inside Nigerian Literature’s Sponsorship Problem and the Worsening Struggle between Prizes and Defaulfting Funders.”

Read the full profile HERE

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

2 Responses to “Otosirieze Obi-Young Talks Brittle Paper’s Support for Queer Writers in Literary Hub Profile” Subscribe

  1. Vlad Botsion October 23, 2019 at 1:11 am #

    i am very like this

  2. inakitto October 23, 2019 at 7:39 am #

    Interesting perspectives here. Woah! Nice read.

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