Guests

Obari Gomba (PhD) teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. He is a recipient of Rivers ANA Distinguished Writer Award, an Honorary Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa (USA), and a two-time Winner of both the Best Literary Artiste Award and the First Prize for Drama of the English Association of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has been listed three times for the Nigeria Prize for Literature (2013, 2017 and 2018). His works include Guerrilla Post (Winner of ANA Drama Prize 2018)For Every Homeland (Winner of ANA Poetry Prize 2017), Thunder Protocol (Winner of ANA Poetry Prize 2016), Length of Eyes (First Runner-Up for ANA Poetry Prize in 2013), and Pearls of the Mangrove (adopted as a ‘Book of the Festival’ in 2011 by the Garden City Literary Festival). He curated an anthology featuring 35 writers from 33 countries, entitled A Piece of Daily Life, for the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa (USA) in 2016.

Obo Effanga is multi-talented as a lawyer, journalist and human rights activist. He holds a National Diploma in Mass Communications from The Polytechnic Calabar; LL.B (Hons). University of Calabar; called to the Nigerian Bar in March 1995 and obtained MA in Human Rights from the University of Sussex, UK.

Born 1969 in Calabar, he worked as a journalist with the Nigerian Chronicle Newspaper, published in Calabar by the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation. He practiced Law briefly but left in 1999 to work mainly for civil society organisations, including ActionAid Nigeria where he worked for 11 years.In 2017, he was appointed Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Effanga, a Ford Foundation Fellowship Alumnus, currently heads the alumni in Nigeria. His hobbies include reading, writing, travelling and philately.

Onyekachi Peter Onuoha, a lecturer at the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria, specialises in African Digital Literature, Popular Culture and Literature, Memory and Trauma Studies. A creative writer with over a decade experience in publishing and teaching of creative writing, he is a recipient of Volkswagen’s Foundation Scholarship on Digital Humanities 2018.

Ude Ibiam Ufiem is a prominent poet and activist who performs/chants in Igbo language. An on-air personality with Radio Nigeria, Coal City 92.9 FM and Director at Igbo College and Creative Crew respectively, Ufiem loves everything about art, for art is everything.

Utibe-Eno Ekpuk is a graduate of English and Literary Studies. She is a writer, lover of traditional art and the literary tradition. Utibe-Emo Ekpuk is the lead representative, Poets in Nigeria, Unical Connect Centre and Assistant Community Lead for Nigeria in the International Teen Network. Due to her love for developing the society, she has worked two years as a volunteer for The Bridge Leadership Foundation and also volunteers with Brencare Foundation. Utibe-Eno Ekpuk is a trained Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocate.

Paul Liam is a published poet, author, book reviewer, critic, editor, essayist and a former literary columnist with Newsline Newspapers, a polemist and a creative writing mentor. He is the co-editor of Ebedi Review (Journal of the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency, Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria). A former Assistant Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Niger chapter, his published works include Indefinite Cravings (2012), Saint Sha’ade and Other Poems (2014), and his numerous critical essays, reviews and interviews have been published in highly reputable Nigerian Newspapers including: The Nation, The Sun, Nigerian Tribune, Daily Independence, Daily Trust, Blue Print, Nigerian Pilot, Newsline Newspapers, etc., and online at  www.africanwriter.com, www.dugwe.com, www.praxisonlinemagazine.com, www.artmusefairnewsblog.com, among others.

oddFelix Ayuk (birth name: Felix Busa Ayuk) is a spoken word poet, storyteller, beta writer and publicist. His first studio album is the EP, the 47th year of the 21st century. He sits on the top of one of ReverbNation spoken word charts. A promoter of literature, especially storytelling, with #ASHThursday, a monthly storytelling session in Calabar, oddFelix heads operations at 14th Street, a writing agency cofounded by him. He is a member of Poets In Nigeria and the spoken word collective, J19.
He lives in Calabar.

Oko Owi Ocho is a Nigerian poet and Founder of Afrika-Writes Poetry Workshop. He was longlisted for the 2017 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize and made the list of top 100 entrants for the same prize in 2018. A 2nd Prize Winner for the Korea Nigeria Poetry Prize 2018, he has been published in Black Communion: Poems of 100 New African Poets, ANA Review 2017, and Tuck Magazine, among others. He works with SEVHAGE Publisher as a Sub-editor. A member of AJ House of Poetry, Oko is currently working on a travelogue – A Memory of Sad Things, and a poetry collection – We Will Sing Water.

Maryhilda Obasiota Ben Ibe, a writer, poet and editor, hails from Ebom in Abi local government of Cross River State, Nigeria. An English and Literary Studies major at the University of Calabar and profound lover of literature and the art, African cosmology and sensibility, Maryhilda is the winner, African Writers Awards 2018 (Voices in Girls’ narrative) for the Flash fiction category and Love Does Not Win Election Essay Competition 2018. She also secured a spot in the Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize (NSPP) 2019 top 100 poets.

Eneminyene Eromosele is a stand-up Afrocentric performing poet and Intiatiator of Skybirds Poet who advocates black emancipation via poetry. He goes by the stage name SELE. He would be performing at the 2019 Festival Poetry Calabar

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