If you missed Dr. Abani’s presentation or would like to hear it again, check-out the podcast of the program on KSKA by clicking here.
Chris Abani was born and raised in Nigeria. At the age of 16, Chris Abani published his first novel, and was imprisoned and tortured by the Nigerian government for a fictional story that mirrored a real-life coup. After two more arrests and 18 months on Nigerian death row, Chris was exiled from Nigeria and has been a resident of the U.S. since 1999. Chris now conveys the horrors of his experience in Nigeria and its’ prisons through searing poetry.
Chris Abani will speak at the University of Alaska Anchorage on the role of art and literature in defense of human rights and democracy. Chris Abani examines this loaded question in momentous and often very funny keynotes that draw on his acclaimed body of work, as well as his own political activism. Mixing the personal and the political, he reminds us of our common humanity.
Chris Abani holds a BA in English, an MA in Gender and Culture, an MA in English, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He is currently a professor at the University of California, Riverside, and the recipeient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award. He has published over 13 prose and poetry publications. Abani is a forceful speaker who can draw belly laughs while also making a deeply personal statement on the luminous and redemptive power of art to battle tyranny.
This program was sponsored by UAA Student Activities: