Thursday, 17 July 2008

Uwem Akpan: "Say You're One of Them"

Uwem Akpan is a Nigerian writer whose debut collection of short stories "Say You're One of Them" has been well received. In 2004, when the Rev. Uwem Akpan applied to the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan, his folder attracted a lot of attention. He was both a Nigerian and a Jesuit priest, and the program was unused to applicants from either category. And though Father Akpan’s talent was abundantly evident, if a little raw, Eileen Pollack, the director of the program, recalled recently, there was some hesitation on the part of the admissions committee. “There were discussions about having a priest be part of workshops where students would be writing about sex and drugs,” Ms. Pollack said.

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