Nigerian essayist and fiction writer, Gimba Kakanda, has been selected for the 2017 Iowa International Writing Program, IWP, residency at the University of Iowa, United States.
Poet, essayist and fiction writer, Mr. Kakanda ran a column for PREMIUM TIMES, and contributed to many other publications.
Mr. Kakanda’s participation was announced on Monday on the project’s website. He will be participating alongside 25 other writers from across the world.
The International Writing Program is one of the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world.
The programme brings outstanding authors from diverse places in the world to University of Iowa, a major American research institution for the three-month residency.
IWP incubated many renowned writers, including winners of Nobel prize in Literature, Orhan Pamuk from Turkey and Mo Yan from China.
Mr. Kakanda would be toing the path of other Nigerian writers who had participated in the residency over the years.
They include Elechi Amadi (1973), Cyprian Ekwensi (1974), Ola Rotimi (1980), Amos Tutuola (1983), Flora Nwapa (1984), Tanure Ojaide (1985), Abubakar Gimba (2000), Ogaga Ifowodo (2000), Ismail Bala (2010), among others.
A skillful and multi-talented writer, Mr. Kakanda is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Safari Pants (Krafgriots, 2010).
“His other work has been anthologized. He is an editor at the Daily Nigerian, a daily committed to promoting transparency in governance, and maintains a weekly column in other periodicals concerned with social issues,” the IWP announced on Monday.
“The goal of the IWP is to provide authors a one-of-a-kind inter-cultural opportunity and the time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, travel, give readings, stage work, and become part of the vibrant literary and academic community at the university and in Iowa City, the only American city designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, in part because of the IWP’s presence.”
He is one of four Africans chosen to participate in this 50th anniversary session, alongside Hajar Bali, a playwright and professor of mathematics from University of Sciences and Technology, Algiers; Dilman Dila, 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from Uganda; and Antoinette Tidjani Alou, fiction writer and lecturer at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey, from Niger Republic. This year, the program also hosts an alumnus, Kenya’s Yvonne Owuor, winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing.
Other renowned writers participating are Fatena Alghorra, Belgium; Ubah Farah, Italy; Audrey Chin, Singapore; Kristian Cordero, Philippines; Lava Darwesh, Iraq; Maung Day, Myanmar; Enza Arreaza, Venezuela; Santiago Giralt, Argentina; Anne Kennedy, New Zealand; Lau Stuart, Hong Kong; Tilottama Majumder, India; Vladimir Martinovski, Macedonia; Matjaž Pikalo, Slovenia; Yuriy Serebryanskiy, Kazakhstan; Subraj Singh, Guyana; Wipas Srithong, Thailand; Kinga Tóth, Hungary; Kirmen Uribe, Spain; Julienne Van Loon, Australia; and Xavier Villanova, Mexico.
While in the U.S., the participants are expected to work on research projects and visit various cities. Optional literary activities are also offered, including talks and readings, panel discussions, a university course, the Iowa City Book Festival, and visits to places of interest.
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