Black publishers headline literary festival

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Bloomsbury publisher Alexandra Pringle; Britain’s first black book publisher, Margaret Busby; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and British African Studies editor James Currey are among the headlining authors at the inaugural James Currey Literary Festival at the University of Oxford in September.

Announcing the event, festival director Onyeka Nwelue, who spoke to The punch said the event was scheduled to take place September 1-3, 2022 at the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, University of Oxford, London.

Nwelue said: “The festival is free and will take place from 1-3 September 2022 at the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, University of Oxford.

“The festival pays tribute to the enormous but little-known contributions to the development of African literature by James Currey, founder of the famous African Writers Series. It is organized by the James Currey Society, based in Oxford.

Nwelue also said the headliners’ discussion would focus on “publishing African literature”.

He said: “Pringle will take part in one of the festival’s featured panels, alongside Busby and Ezeigbo, to discuss African literature publishing and the evolution of this important enterprise.

“Veteran Nigerian novelist, former politician and former President of the Nigerian Authors Association, Dr. Wale Okediran, will also talk about his new work, while novelists Ikenna Okeh, Stephen Embleton, Ever Obi and writers Kadija Sesay, Timi Ovuru, Javier Gutiérrez Lozano, Okwiri Oduor, Suraj Yengde, Keith Richards, Shola Adenekan, Sonny Iroche, Lydia Idakula, Dianne Regisford, Uche Anyanwagu, Nky Iweka, Obinna Odenigbo and Ayodele Arigbabu will join in conversations spanning a range of works published and topics.”

According to Nwelue, South African writer Niq Mhlongo will participate in conversations alongside Nigerian crime novel writer Leye Adenle.

He said: “Ikhide Ikheloa, Efe Paul-Azino, Miles Larmer, Jahman Anikulapo, Aderemi Adegbite, Debbie Edwards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Akin Alabi and literary agent Emma Shercliff have joined the roster.”

The announcement of the winner of the James Currey Prize for African Literature 2022, established by Nigerian writer, filmmaker, founder of the James Currey Society and Academic Visitor to the Center for African Studies at the University of Oxford, Onyeka, will also be presented at the festival. New.

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