We have also introduced a separate “Calls for” post in our “Other Words” this month, rounding up opportunities and shout-outs for contributions – academic and creative.
Festivals, Salons, & Conversations | Readings – Books, Journals & Mags | Performance, Visuals, Sounds | Awards & Congrats | Calls for…last chances & upcoming deadlines | And also on our radar…
May’s most read Reviews and General posts – (click the images to read)
one from #Present | & one from our #Past archives
Festivals, Salons & Conversations
Huza Press and Authors.Cafe held the first event in a new collaborative literary programme featuring book launches and creative writing workshops. Yolande Mukagasana was in conversation with Zoe Norridge and Kristen Stern about the process of writing and translating her powerful testimony Not My Time to Die. This event was part of the African Literary Production: Networks & Exchanges series which is being launched through Exeter’s UNESCO City of Literature Programme.
The Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) held a ‘Book Lunch’ with Tinashe Mushakavanhu on his recent book, Reincarnating Marechera: Notes on a Speculative Archive (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020). Hosted by Ralph Borland from HUMA, the talk explored the paradox of Zimbabwean novelist, short story writer, playwright and poet Dambudzo Marechera’s “post-death legacy,” and meditated on the creative, intellectual, historical, political importance of how Marechera’s archive offers a generational perspective that has been silenced, censored, or ignored.
Bridge Books in Johannesburg began their new book club. The club runs every month and holds the discussion with a dinner and discussion with the author of the book – all are welcome! This month, the book was Joburg Noir, edited by Niq Mhlongo, and the book club was joined by 3 of the collection’s contributing authors, Fred Khumalo, Michelle Van Heerden, and Nedine Moonsamy.⠀
Wasafiri held a week of free digital events building of their special issue 104: Human Rights Cultures. This special issue explored writing in the wake of political crisis and opened up conversations and connections between literatures, writers, and creatives from four countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Colombia, and Argentina. ‘Transformative Testimonies: Writing and Human Rights’ took place 17 – 23 May, 2021. One event we loved was ‘Transformative Fictions’ with Inés Garland, Scholastiq Mukasonga, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, and hosted by Thomas Glave.
Readings – Books, Journals & Mags
First, with some scholarly books news – Boydell and Brewer with the African Articulations series have an outstanding offer on Carli Coetzee’s African Literature Association award-winning monograph Written Under the Skin:
Carli is co-editor of the @AfricaJACS journal, with Grace Musila, and is a wonderfully generous and energetic mentor, not just for scholarly institutions but also a broad sense of the other and less visible spaces for literary activism, change and development that we are ever grateful and proud to be in the number of…
And not to sidetrack or jump into our Congrats category below (or trumpet-blow!), but as we are talking support and symbiotic generosity, it seems an opportunity missed not to mention our joy at seeing the win for her monograph at ALA this year, but also to segue into Carli’s customarily self-effacing response with a congrats due to our regular writer and another friend of the blog, Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike:
In publishers and libraries news:
There is this new publishing database – a fantastic resource for writers from the ever brilliant and connective African Books Collective and the International African Institute (UK based):
And LOATAD gain the New Daughters of Africa anthology – In a cross-border effort to facilitate the widespread accessibility of African writing, Luxembourg-based literary platform Literandra Asbl and UK-based publisher Myriad Editions have joined forces to donate 200 copies of the New Daughters of Africa anthology to the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD), a Ghana-based library. The donated copies of New Daughters of Africa will be available for lending from LOATAD and will be used in various literary projects and events organised by the library.
In new books and publication days on our radar…
(And because we love book clubs…)
Part of the Jacana People’s Africa Month Festival of Writers in May, and the start of their Book Club book sale, their series of talks and meetings included the updated edition of The Black Consciousness Reader:
Celebrating Children’s Day Nigeria, the Book O’Clock Store gave us a lovely thread to follow and find African titles for 3-13 y/os:
And in new journal and mag news…
Omenana opened for submissions:
And online platform Hadithi put out another nudge for you to send in your letters:
Africa month also saw the launch of the new Imbiza, Journal for African Writing – a platform for creative, critical and academic writing:
Performance, Visuals, Sounds
Girls In Film South Africa (GiF) held an Insta takeover on the last day of May with TV producer Kudi Maradzika for those wanting to learn more about working in TV. GiF also created a useful post compiling advice on working in film and TV from some industry heavyweights which you can peruse here.
BAM Film Brooklyn screened the 2016 Haitian drama film Ayiti Mon Amour directed by Guetty Felin as part of this year’s FilmAfrica in partnership with African Film Fest. Ayiti Mon Amour is a neorealist tale of healing and hope in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Cheeky Natives, one of our favourite podcasts about African literature with exciting guests and always insightful conversations, have started their very own YouTube channel! You can check it out here and expect wonderful interviews and smiles all around.
Tebere Arts Foundation and HowlRound Theatre Commons presented an interesting conversation with creative industries professional Nike Jonah. ‘Connecting Africa to the World: Creative Platforms for Africans on the Continent and Beyond’ with The Stories Women Carry: Creative Practice of African Women from the Continent. You can watch the entire conversation here.
Awards & Congrats
Big congratulations are in order for Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Patrice Lawrence who won the Jhalak Prizes for writers of colour. Makumbi won book of the year for her novel The First Woman, while Lawrence took the inaugural children’s book prize for Eight Pieces of Silva.
Brittle Paper’s Africanfuturism: An Anthology is a finalist for this year’s Locus Awards. Congrats to editor Wole Talabi and the anthology’s contributors – Nnedi Okorafor, TL Huchu, Dilman Dila, Rafeeat Aliyu, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Mame Bougouma Diene, Mazi Nwonwu, and Derek Lubangakene.
The Short Story Day Africa Prize ‘Disruption’ shortlist was announced at the start of the month —featuring 8 African writers from 5 countries. Nevertheless, here’s the shortlist for the SSDA 2019–20 anthology, Disruption (which has a beautiful cover!), in alphabetical order:
- ‘Static’ by Alithanayn Abdulkareem (Nigeria)
- ‘Dɔrə’s Song’ by Victor Forna (Sierra Leone)
- ‘The Fish Tank Crab’ by Genna Gardini (South Africa)
- ‘Shelter’ by Mbozi Haimbe (Zambia)
- ‘Before We Die Unwritten’ by Innocent Ilo (Nigeria)
- ‘Laatlammer’ by Julia Smuts Louw (South Africa)
- ‘Five Years Next Sunday’ by Idza Luhumyo (Kenya)
- ‘When the Levees Break’ by Edwin Okolo (Nigeria)
Congratulations to you all!
Margaret Busby, the editor and publisher, renowned for her trailblazing anthologies Daughters of Africa (1992) and New Daughters of Africa (2019), will be awarded the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award at the in-person (!) ceremony later this year.
Calls for… now-now upcoming deadlines!
We’ve shifted our calls & shout-outs for submissions to a new “Calls for” roundup this month -with sections for scholarly & academic calls and for creative producers & makers: see here. BUT!
THIS… the deadline is today/now!
Call for papers for the Finding Africa seminar series 2021. Deadline 02 June
And also on our radar…
As we celebrate in May, we also note to keep in memory a number of significant markers for us and our communities – as the ever on-it and broad-eyed Cassava put it to its Fam:
And we remember… with AiW Editor Stephanie Santana’s post from back in 2012 “Exorcizing Afropolitanism: Binyavanga Wainaina explains why “I am a Pan-Africanist, not an Afropolitan” at ASAUK 2012“
Thank you all for reading, and for being here with us! If there’s anything you’d like to see featured on the site, or if you’d like to connect up and we can help, in any way – don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Contact Us page has all the details you need, or catch us on our SMs.
For our new Calls for roundup for May – with sections for scholarly and academic calls, as well as for creative critical ones for makers and producers – follow this link…
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