The series "Conversations with African Poets & Writers" launched in the fall of 2011 with Ali Mazrui, who gave a talk on the state of contemporary African literature, and has followed with readings/discussions with emerging and established novelists, poets, and short story writers from around the Continent. The archive is a multi-partner literary program between the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division and the Poetry and Literature Center, with the support of the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa.
Mukoma Wa Ngugi
December 3, 2013
Mukoma Wa Ngugiwas born in 1971 in Evanston, Ill., and raised in Kenya. An assistant professor of English at Cornell University, he is the author of the novels Black Star Nairobi(2013) and Nairobi Heat (2011) as well as a poetry collection and a book of criticism.
November 14, 2013
Abdourahman Waberi was born in 1965 in Djibouti. He is the author of many novels and collections of poetry. His novel Transit was published in English in 2012. His honors include the Stefan-Georg-Preis, the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire, and the Prix biennal “Mandat pour la liberté.” Waberi is an assistant professor of French at George Washington University.
September 25, 2013
Amadou Koné was born in 1953 in Burkina Faso. He has published six novels and three plays as well as two studies on African oral literature and the novel. He has also co-published an anthology of literature from Côte d'Ivoire, and edited a collection of essays on African literature and cinema. A professor in the Department of French at Georgetown University, Koné’s honors include the 1985 Best African Novel Award from the Léopold Sédar Senghor Foundation.
A. Igoni Barrett
May 8, 2013
A. Igoni Barrett was born in 1979 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His collection of short-stories, Love is Power, or something like that, was published in 2013 . He is a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition and recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency.
April 2, 2013
Omékongo Dibinga was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a poet and motivational speaker. His most recent book is From the Limbs of My Poetree (2004).
March 21, 2013
Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar, she is author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. The novel was named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, and Publishers Weekly.
November 9, 2012
Tijan Sallah was born in 1958 in Sere Kunda, Gambia. His book Dream Kingdom: New and Selected Poems was published in 2007. Sallah is an economist for the World Bank.
November 7, 2012
Anna Mwalaghois a Kenyan storyteller and poet. She has published a collection of poetry, Poetry in Exile (2012).
September 25, 2012
Mandla Matyumza is a South African writer and Executive Head of the Cape Town Centre for the Book, a division of the National Library of South Africa. He is the author of numerous novels written in the Xhosa language.
May 1, 2012
Helon Habila was born in 1967 in Nigeria. He is the author of three novels, including Oil on Water (2010). In 2011 he edited The Granta Book of the African Short Story. Habila’s honors include the Caine Prize, the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel, and a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellowship. He is an associate professor in Creative Writing at George Mason University.
April 4, 2012
Donato Ndongo was born in Equatorial Guinea in 1950. His novel Shadows of Your Black Memory was translated to English in 2007. He was a visiting scholar in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Missouri–Columbia.
April 3, 2012
Keorapetse Kgositsile was born in 1938 in South Africa. His most recent book of poems is If I Could Sing: Selected Poems (2010).In 2006, Kgositsile was inaugurated as South Africa’s National Poet Laureate. His accolades include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Council of the Arts poetry award, and a Rockefeller Foundation award from Columbia University.
November 16, 2011
Susan Kiguli was born in 1969 in Uganda. Her collection of poems, The African Saga (2002), has been translated to English. A founding member of the Ungandan Female Writer’s Association Femrite, she was named an African Humanities Program postdoctoral fellow in 2010 and an African Studies Association Presidential Fellow in 2011. She is a senior lecturer at Makerere University.
October 7, 2011
Ali Mazrui was born in 1933 in Kenya. He is the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, which he founded in 1991. He is also Albert Luthuli Professor-at-Large at the University of Jos in Nigeria and Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Emeritus and Senior Scholar in Africana Studies at Cornell University.
November 3, 2008
Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 and died in 2013 in Nigeria. His many books include Things Fall Apart, selected as one of the “ALL Time 100 Novels” by TIME magazine. The novel has sold more than 8 million copies and has been translated into fifty languages.