Journalism in the service of society

Voices from Ebedi Writers Residency

 (Being text of Foreword to A MOUTHFUL OF RIVERS by Collins Nosakhare, Omale Allen Abdul-Jabbar, Ayo Oyeku and Seun Damilola Osho)

 A COLLECTION of stories and Poems also known to as ‘Anthology ’ is a good way of bringing together various literary voices in a single publication which can be available to many.

 Anthologies are majorly preferred by readers who want to explore different topics, subjects and themes at the same time. They also promote cross-readership and exposure for the contributing authors and for the host organization.

 In addition, students and scholars can find anthologies useful for writing academic papers. Although there could be anthologies specific for poetry, short nonfiction articles, essays and reviews, there are also anthologies where these genres can be mixed.

A MOUTHFUL OF RIVERS is the work of four Residents for the August-September 2022 session of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, Nigeria. It is a collection of stories and poems around the experiences of the authors during their stay at the Residency.

The Residency which is a private facility for Writers to work on their Literary works in a conducive environment at no cost, has been in existence since 2010. During this period, it has hosted about 180 writers from 10 different African countries.

In relating their experiences at the Residency, the writers were able to use the book to showcase some of the works undertaken during their stay in the Residency.

Ebedi Residency
Writers at the Residency

In doing this, the writers were able to confirm the relevance of a Writers Residency to the literary careers of writers as aptly reiterated by Dr Nureni Oyewole Fadare, a Senior Lecturer at the Sokoto State University who gave the Keynote Speech at the welcome reception for the first set of the 2023 Fellows at the Residency.

According to Fadare; ‘’Writers’ Residencies are created all over the world to create avenue for creative and academic writers to settle down and complete their on-going works or initiate a new one.

A Writers’ Residency is always located in a serene environment such as beside a lake, hill, resort, cottage or castle.

 Writing is a private affair and has to be carried out in a conducive atmosphere and environment. In the words of Virginia Woolf, a foremost English feminist writer and author of A Room of One’s Own, she said, “…a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” 

The argument here is that to have the right state of mind to write, one needs to be independent-minded and be physically independent too. Such an atmosphere is created here at Ebedi Writers’ residency’’

Apart from being a documentation of quality creative works, A MOUTHFUL OF RIVERS is a further affirmation of not only the benefit of a Writers Residency to writers, it is also a testimony to the ability of four Writers to have effectively put to use the facilities offered to them by the Ebedi International Writers Residency.

*Dr Okediran is Founder, Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, Nigeria. He is also Secretary General, Pan African Writers Association, PAWA

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