Library of African and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) has unveiled its 18 residents for West African Writers. 120 applications were received from nine West African countries for the residency program that has support of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union (ACP-EU) Culture Program for West Africa. The residents will be in Accra, Ghana, from March to July 2022.
The writers include Molara Wood, author of Indigo, a collection of short stories published by Parresia in 2013. Wood is a journalist, culture critic and activist, her writing experience spans two decades. She has done major editorial work on many books, including novels by major writers.
Her short stories, flash fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications. These include African Literature Today, Chimurenga, Farafina Magazine, Sentinel Poetry, DrumVoices Revue, Sable Literary Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories to mention a few. She currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Also participating is Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi, a Nigerian writer. He is currently completing his BA in History and International Studies at the University of Ilorin. He is the winner of the Unilorin Faculty of Arts Prize for Poetry in 2018.
Since 2018 Shedrack has been published in Kalahari Review, Praxis Online Magazine, The Roadrunner Review, Lagos Review, Olongo Africa, and elsewhere. He won the University of Ilorin Student Union Prize for fiction in 2020, was shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Prize for Poetry (EOPP), and recently won the PIN Poetically Written Prose Contest in October 2021.
Okupe Mofiyinfoluwa is a Nigerian writer whose work includes poetry and long form personal essays. Her interests mostly revolve around non-fiction; personal essays that distil my lived experiences in relation to society at large, particularly keen interest in exploring the position of women in society, alongside broader constructions of gender. Her work by her has appeared in Kalahari Review, Agbowo Magazine, IceFloe Press Magazine and is forthcoming in Guernica. Her essay ‘Our Bodies Are Always Ready’ received nearly 10 thousand views, leading to my being selected as part of an exclusive pilot scheme for writers on Medium.
Akumbu Uche is an emerging writer currently making a transition from short fiction towards longer prose forms and novels. His short stories of him have been published in Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and Qarrtsiluni. His literary influences on him are both local and global, include African social realists such as Cyprian Ekwensi and Chukwuemeka Ike; British classics by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens as well as contemporary Japanese women’s writing from Banana Yoshimoto and Mieko Kawakami. He is influenced by traditional African oral storytelling traditions and was a member of writing and literary groups such as the Abuja Writers Forum and the Abuja Literary Society.
Immaculata Abba is a freelance writer, photographer and researcher based in Abuja, Nigeria. She received a Master’s in Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford and a double first in History and Comparative Literature at the University of London. She was one of six out of 500 applicants awarded the inaugural African Arguments 2021 Journalism Fellowship. Her work focuses on investigating aspects of coloniality in pre- and post-Independence Nigerian.