Chris Abani’s prose includes The Secret History of Las Vegas (Penguin, 2014), Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections are Sanctificum (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), There Are No Names for Red (Red Hen Press, 2010), Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2010), Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne’s Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). He holds a BA in English (Nigeria), an MA in Gender and Culture (Birkbeck College, University of London), an MA in English and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing (University of Southern California). He is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize, and a Guggenheim Award. Born in Nigeria, he is currently Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University, in Chicago, where he lives.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
British author Bernardine Evaristo is a novelist, poet, editor, essayist, literary critic and Reader in Creative Writing at Brunel University London. Her creative writing includes eight books of fiction and verse fiction, several theatre plays, BBC radio dramas and other works. She reviews for the national British newspapers and has chaired and judged many prizes. She has edited and guest-edited several anthologies and literary magazines. In 2012 she founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, open to African poets worldwide. She has won several awards and she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2009.
Aracelis Girmay is the author of three poetry collections, Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, winner of the Isabella Poetry Award and a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award, and The Black Maria, named a “Top Poetry Pick” by Publisher’s Weekly, O Magazine, and Library Journal. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Foundation Award for Poetry. A Cave Canem Fellow and an Acentos board member, she has led youth and community writing workshops. She currently teaches at Hampshire College. She lives in New York City.