Imo State Governor, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma will give a speech at the James Currey Literary Festival on the 3rd of September, 2022 at the University of Oxford, to honour James Currey. James Currey is an eminent British publisher and a founding member of African Writers Series with Chinua Achebe under whose support Imo State indigene, Flora Nwapa’s Efuru, was published, in 1966, making her the first African female novelist to be published in English globally.
The festival is without charge and will take place from 1 to 3 September, 2022 at Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, University of Oxford according to Onyeka Nwelue. The festival, organized by the Oxford-based James Currey Society will honor the tremendous but undiscovered contributions to the development of African literature made by James Currey.
In a recent correspondence with the founder and Director of the James Currey Society, Onyeka Nwelue and the President of the James Currey Society, Samson Onwe, it has been confirmed that the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Declan Emelumba will also join the Governor at the festival.
Other guests of the festival are; His Royal Majesty, King Bubaraye Dakolo Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama kingdom, Bloomsbury publisher, Alexandra Pringle, Britain’s first ‘black’ female book publisher, Margaret Busby, along with Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, considered Mother of Modern Nigerian Literature, and eminent British publisher of African Studies, James Currey himself.
Veteran Nigerian novelist, former politician, and one-time president of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Wale Okediran, will discuss his new work, while novelists, Ikenna Okeh, Stephen Embleton, Ever Obi, and writers Kadija Sesay, Timi Ovuru, Okwiri Oduor, Suraj Yengde, Keith Richards, Shola Adenekan, Sonny Iroche, Lydia Idakula, Dianne Regisford, Uche Anyanwagu, Nky Iweka, Blessing Uzzi, Chioma Ude, and Ayodele Arigbabu will join in conversations cutting across a range of published works and topics. South African writer, Niq Mhlongo and Nigerian crime fiction writer, Leye Adenle will also take part in the discussions.
Joining the line-up are Ikhide Ikheloa, who will receive the James Currey Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism, Efe Paul-Azino, Miles Larmer, Jahman Anikulapo, Masande Ntshanga, Debbie Edwards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Akin Alabi and literary agent, Emma Shercliff.
At the festival, the winner of the 2022 James Currey Prize for African Literature, established by Nigerian writer, filmmaker, founder of the James Currey Society, and Academic Visitor at the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford will be announced.