UWE brings top African writers to Bristol

Issue date: 29 June 2005

Issue date: 29/06/05

The University of the West of England is supporting an exciting project which will bring five up-and-coming African writers to Bristol for a day of workshops and presentations as part of the Caine prize, a major award for African writers of short stories.

The event, on Thursday 30 June, will offer locally-based writers and those interested in African literature the opportunity to meet the five authors short-listed for the prize and exchange ideas. Those short-listed this year are: Doreen Baingana for Tropical Fish; Jamal Mahjoub for The Obituary Tango; SA Afolabi for Monday Morning; Ike Okonta for Tindi in the Land of the Dead and Muthal Naidoo for Jailbirds.
See http://www.caineprize.com/index.htm for full details.

The Caine Prize, known as the ‘African Booker’ awards a £9,000 prize to a short story published in English by an African writer whose work reflects African sensibilities. It attracts a large number of entries and each year five short-listed writers are brought to the UK to give talks and readings. This year, for the first time the writers will visit Bristol just before the dinner in Oxford at which the prize-winner will be announced.

James Gibbs and Edson Burton, from UWE are working with the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum and the Kuumba Centre in Bristol as well as with the organisers of the Caine Prize which was established in memory of Sir Michael Caine who was Chair of the Africa Centre.

Following an afternoon of workshops at the Kuumba Centre on 30 June, the five visiting African authors will read from their work and answer questions about it at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum at 6.00 pm in a evening session chaired by Kadija George.

Speaking about the event James Gibbs says, “It is very exciting for UWE to be involved in supporting this important literary event. Our students study African writing in courses offered by the School of English and Drama through authors such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. Last year students taking the Third Year African Drama course were able to hear Soyinka give one of the Reith Lectures at the IMAX Cinema, and this event is continuing to support links between Bristol and African writers.”


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