|Born||Port Harcourt, Nigeria|
|Genre||Literary fiction, satire|
|Notable awards||Book of the Year Award – Creative Writing, African Literature Association|
Timothy Ogene is a writer and lecturer at Harvard.He is the author of Descent & Other Poems, The Day Ends Like Any Day, and Seesaw .
Born and raised in the outskirts of Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria, he has since lived in Liberia, the UK, and the US.His work has appeared in Granta, The Johannesburg Review of Books , Harvard Review, Tincture Journal, Numero Cinq , One Throne Magazine , Poetry Quarterly, Hong Kong Review of Books, Glasgow Review of Books, Tahoma Literary Review, The Missing Slate, Stirring, Kin Poetry Journal, Mad Swirl, Blue Rock Review, and other places.
Ogene holds a first degree in English and History from St. Edward's University and a Master's in World literatures in English from the University of Oxford, where his thesis on Chinua Achebe was co-supervised by Elleke Boehmer and Tiziana MorosettiHe later completed a Master's in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and gained a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge. His dissertation on contemporary African writing was supervised by Christopher Warnes. He also studied at the Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory at the University of Bologna.
Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he was shortlisted for the 2010 Arvon International Poetry Competition,and his collection, Descent & Other Poems, was included in the Australian Book Review's Books of the Year 2016 and was also listed as a Literary Hub favourite for 2017. Of his poetry, Felicity Plunkett writes: "Timothy Ogene’s poems are writings of witness, displacement and beauty. Instead of a home address there are poems as address, at once exquisitely gentle and acute. The sharpness of the poems’ blades—whether literal, like the blades that peel Cassavas and leave the speaker's arms scarred, or deeper injuries of trauma and loss—sits alongside their subtlety and tenderness. These are poems of deep attentiveness to the smallest encounters, and to the largest questions of love, doubt, solitude and migration. Their crafting reveals Ogene's deep reading, both of poetry and of the landscapes the poems explore. How do poems that bear witness to violence, loss and displacement open so gently to the reader? This paradox is one of many in these wise, important poems. I am reminded of Hélène Cixous’s description of Paul Celan’s poetry as ‘writing that speaks of and through disaster such that disaster and desert become author or spring’. Where trees hold ‘time in absent leaves’, these poems mourn roots but refrain from ‘easy paths’, offering, instead, the force and grace of a numinous poetics."
In 2008, Timothy was selected to participate in the first Jane Goodall Global Youth Summit,and in 2009 he was awarded a Dekeyser & Friends Fellowship by the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation. As part of the Dekeyser & Friends Fellowship, he "worked with [ Markus Wasmeier and] an international group of young people to restore a 17th-century farmhouse in the German Alps utilizing original materials, traditional tools, wood-crafting and handicraft techniques."
While living in Liberia, he was a mentor at the Strongheart Fellows Program, "an innovative educational program to help exceptional young people from extremely challenging backgrounds rise above circumstance and excel in our larger shared world." [ citation needed ]He also volunteered part-time teaching literature at Robertsport High School in Grand Cape Mount County.
Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as a central figure of modern African literature. His first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart (1958), occupies a pivotal place in African literature and remains the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Along with Things Fall Apart, his No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964) complete the so-called "African Trilogy"; later novels include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). In the West, Achebe is often referred to as the "father of African literature", although he vigorously rejected the characterization.
Things Fall Apart is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958. It depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. The novel was first published in the United Kingdom in 1962 by William Heinemann Ltd, and became the first work published in Heinemann's African Writers Series.
Gabriel Imomotimi Okara was a Nigerian poet and novelist who was born in Bumoundi in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The first modernist poet of Anglophone Africa, he is best known for his early experimental novel, The Voice (1964), and his award-winning poetry, published in The Fisherman's Invocation (1978) and The Dreamer, His Vision (2005). In both his poems and his prose, Okara drew on African thought, religion, folklore and imagery, and he has been called "the Nigerian Negritudist". According to Brenda Marie Osbey, editor of his Collected Poems, "It is with publication of Gabriel Okara's first poem that Nigerian literature in English and modern African poetry in this language can be said truly to have begun."
Nigerian literature may be roughly defined as the literary writing by citizens of the nation of Nigeria for Nigerian readers, addressing Nigerian issues. This encompasses writers in a number of languages, including not only English but Igbo, Urhobo, Yoruba, and in the northern part of the county Hausa and Nupe. More broadly, it includes British Nigerians, Nigerian Americans and other members of the African diaspora.
African literature is literature from Africa, either oral ("orature") or written in African and Afro-Asiatic languages. Examples of pre-colonial African literature can be traced back to at least the fourth century AD. The best-known is the Kebra Negast, or "Book of Kings."
Lewis Nkosi was a South African writer, who spent 30 years in exile as a consequence of restrictions placed on him and his writing by the Suppression of Communism Act and the Publications and Entertainment Act passed in the 1950s and 1960s. A multifaceted personality, he attempted multiple genre for his writing, including literary criticism, poetry, drama, novels, short stories, essays, as well as journalism.
Helon Habila Ngalabak is a Nigerian novelist and poet, whose writing has won many prizes, including the Caine Prize in 2001. He worked as a lecturer and journalist in Nigeria before moving in 2002 to England, where he was a Chevening Scholar at the University of East Anglia, and now teaches creative writing at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Chief Horst Ulrich Beier, commonly known as Ulli Beier, was a German editor, writer and scholar who had a pioneering role in developing literature, drama and poetry in Nigeria, as well as literature, drama and poetry in Papua New Guinea.
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Wanda Leopold was a Polish author, medical doctor, and social science activist known for her study of English writings beginning in West Africa, specifically Nigeria. A translator as well as a literary critic, she stressed the artistic qualities of creative writing. She was a scholar of Polish culture, literature, and language. Her book, "O literaturze Czarnej Afryki," was the first Polish introduction to African literature that was written in both English, and French. Some of her first critical essays were on Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, and Wole Soyinka.
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Juliane Okot Bitek, also known as Otoniya J. Okot Bitek, is a Kenyan-born Ugandan-raised diasporic writer and academic, who lives, studies and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is perhaps best-known for her poetry book 100 Days, a reflection on the 100-day 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu people were killed. She has been a contributor to several anthologies, including in 2019 New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent, edited by Margaret Busby.
Chinua Achebe Literary Festival is an annual literary event held in honour of Nigerian writer and literary critic — Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart (1958), in commemoration and celebration of his works and immense contributions in the literary field.
Koleka Putuma is a South African queer poet and theatre-maker. She was nominated one of Okay Africa's most influential women in 2019.
Seesaw is the second novel by Timothy Ogene. It was published in London in November 2021 by Swift Press, and was reviewed in The Guardian, The Times, Unherd, Isele Magazine, and Writers Mosaic. Excerpts appeared in Granta and The Johannesburg Review of Books. It can be considered as a classic road novel and, at the same time, a satire; the voice of an unreliable narrator depicts American culture and politics as seen through the eyes of a Nigerian scholar visiting Boston.