Department of English to host prominent poet and novelist
Ohio Northern University’s Department of English will host a literary reading from award-winning novelist and poet Chris Abani in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m.
Abani, who is currently in political exile from Nigeria where he has been imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nigeria, a master’s degree in gender and culture from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. He currently is a professor at the University of California, Riverside. His works include “Song For Night,” “The Virgin of Flames,” “Becoming Abigail,” “GraceLand,” “Masters of the Board” as well as many poetry collections.
“Abani is one of the best speakers I’ve encountered in my many years of attending hundreds of readings,” said Kathryn Cowles, assistant professor of English at ONU. “He’s a quietly intelligent and deeply ethical human being who has seen more than his fair share of atrocities and has come out the other end with a firm commitment to finding out what it is that makes us human in a flawed world.”
Abani has won a wide variety of awards, including the PEN USA West Freedom-to-Write Award in 2001, California Book Award for Fiction Silver Medal in 2005, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize in 2005, A Chicago Reader Critic’s Choice in 2006, the Guggenheim Fellow in Fiction in 2009, and the New York Times Editor’s Choice Award in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
This event is free and open to the public.