Ghanaian performance poet becomes Booktrust’s second online writer in residence
The Ghanaian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes has been announced as the second author to take on the role of Booktrust online writer in residence. As well as performing his unique brand of poetry on major stages across the globe, Nii Parkes is an established author of poetry and fiction for both children and adults – he has had his poem ‘Wrong Side’ memorised by pupils across the UK and his poem ‘Tin Roof’ was featured by the ‘Poems on the Underground’ initiative in June 2007. A socio-cultural commentator who has sat on broadcast panels with literary heavyweights such as Margaret Atwood and A.S. Byatt, he is the author of the novel Tail of the Blue Bird and the co-founder and Senior Editor of flipped eye publishing.
Nii takes over from the Booktrust Teenage Prize winner Patrick Ness, who during his time in post wrote a much fêted exclusive addition to the award-winning The Knife of Never Letting Go. The writer in residence programme will run for two years, with a new author taking up the position every six months.
Nii will take up his tenure from today, Monday 14 September 2009.
During his time in the post, Nii will contribute one new poem to be published on the Booktrust website, a fortnightly blog, a video interview by schoolchildren, writing tips and advice on getting published, as well as hosting a special poetry event.
Nii Parkes commented:
"I am delighted and honoured to be Booktrust’s second-ever online writer in residence, taking the virtual baton from the excellent Patrick Ness. Every writer is (or should be) a reader first, and Booktrust does more to get people reading than any organisation I know (my nine-month-old daughter has already devoured eleven books endorsed by Booktrust). I am particularly looking forward to the opportunity that this residency offers
to interact with readers, to share my experience, to explore the nuances of translation as people consume stories - for stories are only the starting point; the real tale lives in the contemplation the stories trigger, the dialogue they generate after the last page is closed."
Nikesh Shukla, Booktrust Website Editor:"Nii Parkes is the Freddie Flintoff of publishing: a true all-rounder- he’s a performance poet, an author, a publisher, an editor and the hardest working man in the biz. He was an obvious choice to take over from Patrick Ness as our new writer in residence, and we’ve scored a century by getting him. Nii’s self-made career has given him a wealth of knowledge of the publishing industry and he will be a huge inspiration to aspiring writers. As someone who is immersed in technology and social networking media too, it’ll be great to collaborate with him on new and exciting multimedia online projects for Booktrust."