Two emerging writers, Sumaila Umaisha and Ifeyinwa Omalicha, will feature at the 28th edition of the Abuja Writers’ Forum’s Guest Writer Session, which holds on November 27 by 4pm at the Pen and Pages Bookstore, White House Plaza, Plot 79, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2.
Sumaila Umaisha, literary editor of the Kaduna-based New Nigerian, is a short story writer and poet. His stories and poems have appeared in several journals, anthologies and online publications. He has also won several awards for literary journalism including the Literary Journalist of the Year Award by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), which he won in 2004 and 2007. Earlier this year, he was a participant in the Farafina Writing Workshop, facilitated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Umaisha’s debut collection of short stories, Hoodlums , appeared recently and is attracting attention for its focus on the violence perpetrated in the country in the name of religion, politics and culture.
This collection, notes Yahaya Ibrahim in a review, “paints (in seventeen short stories) a graphic picture of physical and psychological violence …(and) focuses on ethno-religious conflicts to militancy and other violent crises, Umaisha unveils scenes of savagery that have become the trademark of the Nigerian nation …. One of the major strengths of Umaisha is his ability to craft harsh realities into simple metaphors. On the surface is the story, but between the lines is the heart of the story itself – story that involves or implicates everyone. In the story even the reader stands accused without knowing it.”
Ms Omalicha is a post-graduate student of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is also a Poet and Performance artist. She performed at the maiden event of the Nigerian Prize for Literature endowed by NLNG.
She has three published collections of poetry: Amidst the Blowing Tempest, They Run Still and Now that Dreams are Born. She was Resident Poet at the ABTI Academy, Yola, where she worked as a teacher and Literary consultant.
The popular monthly literary event hosted by the Abuja Writers’ Forum and regarded as the most consistent in the country, will also feature music, performance poetry, a mini visual arts exhibition and a raffle with book prizes at stake.
Umaisha and Omalicha appear in the wake of the October edition which featured the Abuja-based poet, Kabura Zakama. The Guest Writer Session which started in June 2008 has become the inspiration for similar literary interventions in some of the nation’s major cities, a testimony of its success.