By Oladeinde Olawoyin
An award-winning Nigerian poet, essayist, translator and author of short stories, Tade Ipadeola, has been selected to participate in the International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residency at the University of Iowa, courtesy of the United States Department of State.
From September 1 to November 16, Mr Ipadeola will join 28 other accomplished writers from across the globe in the world’s oldest and largest multinational writing residency.
The writer is a 2013 winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Over the course of 11 weeks, the essayist and the other participants will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres and art forms, and travel to interact with audiences and literary communities across the United States.
In addition, the residency will provide the writers a one-of-a-kind inter-cultural opportunity to forge productive relationships with colleagues and translators, and take part in the vibrant social and academic life of the University of Iowa as well as the larger American literary scene.
United States Consulate Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks congratulated the Nigerian writer on his acceptance into the residency program.
According to him, the goal of the IWP Fall Residency is to provide outstanding writers with a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration.
“The International Writing Program Fall Residency is a unique experience for rising stars and established writers who have achieved literary distinction and have shown interest in contributing to the creative writing culture in their home countries.
“ This program will enable Ipadeola to present his works and Nigeria’s literary culture to a wider audience. He will in turn learn more about U.S. society, culture, and the American people,” Brooks said.
Mr Ipadeola has three published works, including The Sahara Testament, a poetry collection, which won the Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2013 and has been translated into Dutch, French, Spanish and Xhosa. In 2009, he won the Delphic Laurel in Poetry for his Yoruba poem Songbird at the Delphic Games in Jeju, South Korea. In 2012, he translated Paid on Both Sides, the first dramatic work of renowned Anglo-American poet, W.H. Auden, into Yoruba as Lamilami.
To date, 34 Nigerian literary figures have participated in the IWP Fall Residency. Notable among them are Elechi Amadi (1973), Cyprian Ekwensi (1974), Ola Rotimi (1980), Femi Osofisan (1986), Niyi Osundare (1988), Festus Iyayi (1990), Lola Shoneyin (1999), Obari Gomba (2016), among others.
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