The University of Iowa

African Studies reception Oct. 15 will feature new African IWP residents

October 2nd, 2014

The African Studies Program in UI International Programs will host an informal reception Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, to welcome the fall African writers-in-residence of the International Writing Program. The event is free and open to the public and will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Room 2780 University Capitol Centre, next to the School of Music.

The fall IWP residents from Africa are (from left): Mamle Kabu, Sabata-mpho Mokae, Sabah Sanhouri, and Ahmed Shafie.

Also at the event, Christopher D. Roy will receive the 2014 African Professor of the Year Award from Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas. Roy, the Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History, receives the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to teaching and research in African Studies at the University of Iowa for more than 35 years.

This year’s African writers-in-residence are:

Mamle KABU (fiction writer; Ghana) is the author of the young adult novel The Kaya-Girl (2012), and is currently working on her first novel. Her stories, which include “The End of Skill” (shortlisted for the 2009 Caine Prize), "Human Mathematics” and "Story of Faith" have been anthologized across Africa, the U.S. and the UK. She is the associate director of the Writers Project of Ghana.

Sabata-mpho MOKAE (poet, nonfiction and fiction writer; South Africa) is the author of the poetry collection Escaping Trauma (2012) and the biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje (2010). His debut novel in Setswana, Ga Ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] (2012) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award; the youth novella Dikeledi [Tears] was launched in 2014. In 2011 he also won the South African Literary Award in the literary journalism category. He is a columnist and a journalist, and a co-founder of the annual Sol Plaatje Literary Festival.

Sabah SANHOURI (fiction writer; Sudan) is a freelance journalist. Her story "The Isolation" won the El-Tayeb Saleh competition for Youth Short Story Writers and has been made into a short film; it was published by Words Without Borders, and appeared in French and Arabic translations. A story collection, [Mirrors], came out in Egypt and Sudan earlier this year.

Ahmed SHAFIE (poet, fiction writer, translator; Egypt) is the author of the poetry collection [and Other Poems] (2009) and the novel [The Creator] (2013). He has translated Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, and an anthology of Afro-American poems into Arabic. Shafie writes for the poetry translation blog ‘Aswast men Honak’ [Distant Voices], and blogs at ‘Qera’at Ahmed Shafie,’ [Readings of Ahmed Shafie].

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leo Eko in advance at 319-353-1926 or