Thursday, May 28, 2009

Azuah Azuah at Abuja Writers Forum

The tenth edition of the Guest Writer Session, an Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) initiative, features Ms Unoma Nguemo Azuah on May 30. 

Azuah teaches Composition and Creative Writing at Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee. She is an MFA graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. She also has an MA in English from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. Her undergraduate degree in English is from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. As an undergraduate at Nsukka, she edited the English department literary journal—The Muse and received the awards of the best Creative Writing student for two consecutives years: 1992 and 1993. Her other awards include the Hellman/Hammett award, the Urban Spectrum award, the Leonard Trawick award and the Association of Nigerian Authors/NDDC Flora Nwapa award for her debut novel Sky-High Flames.

Azuah is also involved with “The Griot Collective,” a poetry group that organizes workshops and readings for adults and high school students in the West Tennessee area. She has conducted writing workshops for incarcerated mothers and women in prison as a way of creating outlets for their expressions. Part of her focus in such workshops is to assist women in channeling their energy into literary expressions as a way of freeing their spirits in spite of their physical imprisonment.

Ms Azuah has shared her works in cities like Pomona, Los Angeles- California, Washington, DC, Little Rock, Arkansas, Cleveland, Ohio, Eugene, Oregon, New York City, Kingston, Canada, The University of Humboldt, Germany, Nigeria and Jackson, Tennessee among others. Part of Ms. Azuah’s project has been to explore the political disillusionment suffered by Africans due to corrupt government and their subsequent urge to migrate to the west even when they face alienation and homesickness. These themes are the focus of a poetry anthology called “On Broken Wings,” which she recently edited.

She was the publicity secretary Women Writers of Nigeria, and was also the Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos State Branch and is currently working on her second collection of poems entitled “Home is Where the Heart Hurts”.

The reading session will hold later in the day by 4pm at the regular venue, Pen and Pages Bookstore, White House Plaza, Plot 79, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja and will include the usual side attractions of poetry performance, mini art exhibition and live music.

Read an interview with Unoma Azuah on TBB soon!

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