Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma will be speaking at the James Currey Literary Festival on 3 September 2022 at the University of Oxford, to honour James Currey, eminent British publisher, who co-founded African Writers Series with Chinua Achebe, under whose auspices Imo State indigene, Flora Nwapa’s Efuru, was published, in 1966, making her the first African female novelist to be published in English globally.
Onyeka Nwelue, founder of the James Currey Society and director of the James Currey Literary Festival, also born and bred in Imo State, confirmed that the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Declan Emelumba will be in attendance with the Governor at the festival.
Other guests of the festival include: His Royal Majesty, King Bubaraye Dakolo Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama kingdom, Bloomsbury publisher, Alexandra Pringle, Britain’s first ‘black’ female book publisher, Margaret Busby, along with Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, considered Mother of Modern Nigerian Literature, and eminent British publisher of African Studies, James Currey.
The festival honours the enormous but little-known contributions to the development of African literature made by James Currey, founder of the famous African Writers Series. It is organised by the Oxford-based James Currey Society.
Veteran Nigerian novelist, former politician, and former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Wale Okediran, will talk about his new work, while novelists, Ikenna Okeh, Stephen Embleton, Ever Obi, and writers Kadija Sesay, Timi Ovuru, Okwiri Oduor, Suraj Yengde, Keith Richards, Shola Adenekan, Sonny Iroche, Lydia Idakula, Dianne Regisford, Uche Anyanwagu, Nky Iweka, Blessing Uzzi, Chioma Ude, and Ayodele Arigbabu will join in conversations cutting across a range of published works and topics.
South African writer, Niq Mhlongo, will feature in conversations alongside Nigerian crime fiction writer, Leye Adenle.
Joining the line-up are Ikhide Ikheloa, who will receive the James Currey Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism, Efe Paul-Azino, Miles Larmer, Jahman Anikulapo, Masande Ntshanga, Debbie Edwards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Akin Alabi and literary agent, Emma Shercliff.
Also featuring at the festival will be the announcement of the winner of the 2022 James Currey Prize for African Literature, established by Nigerian writer, filmmaker, founder of the James Currey Society, and Academic Visitor at the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Onyeka Nwelue.
Nwelue announces that the festival, which is free, will take place from 1-3 September 2022 at Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, University of Oxford.
The full line-up can be viewed here.