Wednesday, April 6, 2011
As a teen, Chris Abani was imprisoned by the Nigerian government for his writings. Abani now teaches at University of California Riverside and will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Mountain West Arts Conference May 5 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, West Valley City, Utah. The event includes the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards ceremony. FMI: 801-236-7550, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://artsandmuseums.utah.gov/resources/professional_development/conferences/index.html
More about the keynote speaker:
Chris Abani is one of the most admired novelists in the world today. He is also an evocative speaker whose talks -- near musical in their fluidity, heartbreak and joy -- mix the personal and the political. His luminous and very funny insights are a vital statement on the redemptive power of art to battle tyranny and to remind us of our common humanity. "Happiness," he has said, "is learning to live with difficulty and grace." Abani is the recipient of the PEN Freedom-to-Write Award and many other prizes. His bestselling novel, Graceland, about an Elvis impersonator in Lagos, won the Hemingway/PEN Prize. His other works of fiction include The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, and the award-winning Song For Night, about a child soldier who has lost his voice. All three were named a New York Times Editor's Choice.