See the amazing line up for this year’s Africa Writes festival

Africa Writes, the Royal African Society’s annual literature and book festival, returns for its fourth year running this summer. The three day festival will bring together over 50 novelists, poets, publishers, translators, critics and other actors in the world of African literature to explore the continent’s rich literary landscape.

This year’s festival highlights include ‘Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in Conversation’ in which the Booker prize-winning author will discuss his vast selection of literary work. Hannah Pool will lead a conversation with other writers and personalities as they share and discuss their favourite titles of African literature in ‘African Books to Inspire’.

Curator: Hannah Pool. Photo: Michael Leckie

Curator: Hannah Pool. Photo: Michael Leckie

Other events in the line up include ‘Meet the Publishers’, where aspiring African writers will have an opportunity to meet people in the industry and gather all the information needed for getting a piece or book published. This year’s popular annual translation symposium focuses on Love, inspired by the widely praised multi-lingual Valentine’s Day Anthology by Ankara Press. There will also be an exciting programme of free book launches, readings, talks, panel discussions, performances, children and young people’s workshops and an international book fair.

Below are some of the sessions that will feature in this year’s festival. (The festival will include 13 more sessions which will be on the Africa Writes website soon).

Africa Writes 2014. Photo: Jose Farinha

Africa Writes 2014. Photo: Jose Farinha

Africa in Translation: What’s Love got to do with it?
Friday 3 July

10.00 – 13.00, FREE

Our annual translation symposium this year focuses on Love, taking Ankara Press’ ground-breaking Valentine’s Day Anthology of African Romance as a starting point. Digitally launched by the new romance imprint on the auspicious date of 14th February 2015, all of the short stories in the anthology were translated into languages associated with the African writers, resulting in the text being published in eight different languages. Curated by Wangui wa Goro of SIDENSI, this symposium will dispel myths about Africans and romance and discuss the value and impact of translation in contemporary African literature.

Emergent Discourses on African Literature

Friday 3 July

14.00 – 15.30, FREE

The academic discourse on African literature is characterised by a continuous process of debate, reassessment of theories and redefinition of terms. The very concept of ‘African literature’ is a problematic one because it conveys as certain homogeneity, ignoring the wide diversity of written and oral literature stemming from the continent and the diaspora. This session will feature presentations by PhD students and other researchers who are exploring different areas of this field of study – from the development of post-colonial literature through to present-day African narratives and the changing landscape of the publishing industry.

 Meet the Publishers 
Friday 3 July

16.00 – 17.30, FREE

Are you an unpublished writer of African origin? Would you like the opportunity to present your work to different publishing houses and get professional feedback? Join our panel of experts as they discuss what they look for when considering new work, share the do’s and dont’s of pitching and other insider tips.

African Books To Inspire

Friday 3 July
18.30 – 20.30
£10 /£8/ £5

An evening of books and inspiration, chaired by Hannah Pool. At this special event, a selection of writers and personalities will share their favourite titles of African literature – ranging from classics through to the latest published work.

Meditations on Greatness: Ben Okri in Conversation

Saturday 4 July

18.30 – 20.30

£10 /£8/ £5

 

 

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