TCG National Conference 2007 - Speaker Bios


Wole Soyinka is a playwright, poet, novelist,and essayist.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, Wole Soyinka has published more than thirty works, and remains active on various international artistic and Human Rights organizations.  Born and educated in Nigeria, Wole Soyinka continued his studies at the University of Leeds, England, then joined the Royal Court Theatre, London as a play-reader. In 1960, he returned to Nigeria, where he founded two theatre companies – The 1960 Masks, and the Orisun Theatre. Soyinka writes in various genres – from the light comedy of cultures in The Lion and the Jewel, through King Baabu, a savagely satiric adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s  Ubu Roi, to the dense poetic tragedy of  Death and the King’s Horseman. Soyinka has also written novels and autobiographical works. Aké: The Years of Childhood  has been described as a classic, while his latest, You Must Set Forth at Dawn was acclaimed one of the best non-fiction works of 2006.  Literary and thematic essay collections include his 2004 BBC Reith Lectures, Climate of Fear, while his most recent collection of poems  was published as SAMARKANDand Other Markets I have Known.  Wole Soyinka has held several university positions, and still lectures extensively. He is currently Professor Emeritus in Comparative Literature, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and Fellow of the Black Mountain Institute, University of Nevada, and the Du Bois Institute, Harvard University,Cambridge.

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