The United States Department of State on Monday selected Nigerian poet and writer, Ms. Wana Udobang, alongside 29 other writers from across the globe for the 54th International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residency at the University of Iowa.
Over the course of 11 weeks, Udobang and other participants will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres and art forms, and travel to interact with audiences and literary communities across the US.
The programme is expected to run from February 28 to May 3, 2021.
35 Nigerian writers have participated in the IWP Fall Residency regarded as world’s oldest and largest multinational writing residency till date.
Some of these include Elechi Amadi (1973), Cyprian Ekwensi (1974), Ola Rotimi (1980), Femi Osofisan (1986), Niyi Osundare (1988), Festus Iyayi (1990), Lola Shoneyin (1999), Obari Gomba (2016), Tade Ipadeola (2019).
The residency programme will provide the writers a one-of-a-kind inter-cultural opportunity to forge productive relationships with colleagues and translators, and take part in the vibrant social and academic life of the University of Iowa as well as the larger American literary scene.
The United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo congratulated the Nigerian writer on her acceptance into the residency program.
According to Pierangelo, the goal of the IWP Fall Residency is to provide outstanding writers with a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration.
She said: “This is an extremely competitive program 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, 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.”
Udobang’s previous works include Dirty Laundry, In Memory of Forgetting and Transcendence.
Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and the poetry film Dear Father was screened at the British Film Institute’s African Odysseys Festival.
The Nigerian’s writing has appeared in Aljazeera, The Guardian, The Rumpus and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).