2015. EIGHT NEW-GENERATION AFRICAN POETS: MBILI
Liyou Mesfin Libsekal was born in 1990 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She spent her childhood traveling and lived in Tanzania, Kenya, and Italy before returning to Ethiopia in 2005. She attended The George Washington University where she earned her BA in anthropology in 2012. She now lives in her home country where she is pursuing a degree in Fashion Design and writes occasionally for a monthly business magazine.
Vuyelwa Maluleke is a South African poet, actor, and writer. She was the Drama for Life regional winner in (2012) and has continued to perform on various stages in Johannesburg including the Melville Poetry Festival in (2013). Her voice and performances reflect the two worlds she inhabits: the township she has grown up in and the private schools that helped her become. She holds a Dramatic Arts degree from the Wits school of Arts.
Angola/ United States
Amy Lukau is the daughter of immigrants from Angola. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology in addition to a BA in Religious Studies with minors in Islamic Studies and Religion & Conflict. She spent over four years in years in the non-profit sector, served on the American Board of Directors for the organization Zion¹s Children of Haiti and has worked as a policy researcher & analyst for select organizations implementing novel ways to prevent and deal with mass atrocities internationally. Lukau has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) executive director of Girls Education International, a not for profit organization based in Colorado that supports educational opportunities for underserved females in remote and underdeveloped regions of the world, girlsed.org. Lukau’s work appears or is forthcoming in Fanzine and Feminist Wire, amongst other journals. She has an MFA in Writing and Poetics.
Inua Ellams was born in Nigeria in 1984. He lives and works in London as a poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist, and designer. His first play, The 14th Tale won a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 before transferring to National Theatre of England. Other plays have been shown at the National Theatre and BBC Radio 3, and his poems have appeared in two pamphlets from Flipped Eye Press and many other magazines.
Cameroon/ United States
Viola Allo is a Cameroonian-born poet who migrated to America at 19 and is currently based in the United States. She holds a BA in psychology and MA in anthropology from the universities of California- Davis and Michigan- Ann Arbor. Her work appears in the American River Review and Poetry for the Mind’s Joy, an anthology. Viola was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2013 and in 2014. A certified yoga instructor and Ayurvedic wellness counselor, she lives in Sacramento, California.
Nigerian poet and novelist, PEN Award and Guggenheim winner.
Peter Akinlabi lives and works in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria. He holds a B.A. in English from University of Ibadan and a Masters in English and Literary studies from University of Ilorin. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Sentinel Quarterly, NT Lit.Mag, Saraba, Savannah Review and Sentinel Nigeria. He was shortlisted for first African Poetry Prize of University of Brunel, UK. He is the winner of Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Competition in 2009.
Blessing Musariri is a Zimbabwean poet, born and raised in Harare. After a two-year stint as a Public Relations and Legal Officer for a gold mining company, she quit her job to be a full time writer. Her publications include Rufaro’s Day (Longman Zimbabwe), Going Home: A Tree’s Story (Weaver Press, Harare), The Mystery of Rukodzi Mountain (Hodder Education, UK 2008) and The Adventures of Baraka Blackbird (Mkuki Na Nyota, Tanzania 2012). Her poetry and short stories have been translated and published in various anthologies and online.
Ghana/ United Kingdom
Janet Kofi-Tsekpo has Ghanaian and British parentage and Caribbean family. She lives in London. This is her first short collection.