Chris Abani was born and raised in Nigeria. At the age of 16, he 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 will speak at UAA on the role of art and literature in defense of human rights and democracy. Chris 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 holds a B.A. in English, an M.A. in gender and culture, an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. He is currently a professor at the University of California, Riverside, and the recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN/Beyond Margins Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and a Guggenheim Award. He has published over 13 prose and poetry publications. Chris 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 event is presented by Student Activities and free for everyone.
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Please join us in celebrating this year's Filipino American History Month. There will be food, performances, prizes and highlights on the contributions of Filipino Americans to American history. Free and open to the public!
Sponsored by the Alaskero Partnership Organizers, UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning and UAA Diversity Action Council.
If you are interested in performing at the Fiesta Alaskero or would like more information, please contact Gabriel Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 786-6532. For interpreting services or other accommodations, please contact Garcia at least 48 hours in advance.
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