Wednesday, December 2: fiction writer Barb Johnson and Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare

Please join us on Wednesday, December 2, as we welcome two outstanding authors to NOCCA: Fiction writer Barb Johnson and Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare. The two authors will read from recent and past works and answer questions from those in attendance. The event will take place at 7pm in the Ken Kirschman Artspace, on the NOCCA campus; a reception with the authors will follow. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Barb Johnson worked as a carpenter in New Orleans for more than 20 years before entering the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. While in the writing program, she won a grant from the Astraea Foundation, Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers, and Washington Square’s short story competition. She completed her MFA in 2008, and in 2009 she became the fifth recipient of A Room Of Her Own Foundation’s $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award, a two-year writing grant. She lives and writes in New Orleans. More of This World or Maybe Another is her first book.

Niyi Osundare is one of the most prominent within the generation of contemporary Anglophone Nigerian poets that emerged after Wole Soyinka, J.P. Clark-Bekederemo, and Gabriel Okara. Born in 1947 in Ikere-Ekiti, Ondo State of Nigeria, he studied at Ibadan, Leeds, and Toronto, and now teaches in the Department of English at the University of New Orleans. His poems have won many national and international prizes, among which was the 1986 Commonwealth Poetry Prize. His published works include: Sing of Change; Songs of the Marketplace; Village Voices; Moonsongs; The Eye of the Earth; The Nib in the Pond; Waiting Laughters; and Midlife. Niyi Osundare draws copiously from the oral tradition, and his imagery and settings are essentially rural. He says his primary purpose is to demystify poetry and make it accessible to the ordinary man for whom he sings. As the voice of the people, his condemnation of the ruling class and of social vices in general is unequivocal and his call for change in every facet of society unprecedented.

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