A Nigerian poet, writer and spoken word artist, Wana Udobang, has been selected by the United States Department of State to participate in the 54th International Writing Programme, IWP, Fall Residency.
The U.S. Consulate in Lagos disclosed this in a statement issued by Temitayo Famutimi, the Consulate’s information specialist.
The consulate said that Udobang would join 29 other writers from across the globe in the world’s oldest and largest multinational writing residency which will hold at University of Iowa over the course of 11 weeks.
It said that the award-winning writer, alongside other participants, will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures.
The U.S. consulate added that she would also collaborate with artists from other genres and art forms, and travel to interact with audiences and literary communities across the United States.
U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo, while congratulating Udobang, said that the goal of the IWP Fall Residency was to provide outstanding writers with a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration.
“This is an extremely competitive programme and we are proud to have you represent Nigeria.
“Your accomplishments as a poet and writer are well-known and we hope this is an opportunity for you to take time to focus on your writing.
“It is an opportunity to connect with well-established writers from around the globe, learn more about the United States, and contribute to literature courses both at the University of Iowa and across the country,” Pierangelo said.
The residency would provide the writers a one-of-a-kind inter-cultural opportunity to forge productive relationships with colleagues and translators, the consulate stressed.
It said that it would also enable them take part in the vibrant social and academic life of the University of Iowa as well as the larger American literary scene.
The U.S. Consulate, however, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall residency programme had been postponed until spring.
Health, safety, and travel conditions permitting, the rescheduled programme is expected to run from February 28 to May 3, 2021, it said.
The consulate noted that Udobang’s poems had been published in numerous anthologies and her poetry film, Dear Father, was screened at the British Film Institute’s African Odysseys Festival.
“Her writings have also appeared in Aljazeera, The Guardian, The Rumpus and the BBC.
“Thirty-five Nigerian literary figures have participated in the IWP Fall Residency and some notable ones include Cyprian Ekwensi (1974), Ola Rotimi (1980), Niyi Osundare (1988), Festus Iyayi (1990), Tade Ipadeola (2019),” the consulate disclosed.