Barnes & Noble Writers Award
The bookseller Barnes & Noble has their name attached to a prestigious writers’ award given annually to authors. I had never heard of it; had you? Adichie was one of three writers given the award this year.
“The Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award celebrates authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. The award, which is presented each year at Poets & Writers’ annual dinner, is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of its long-standing support.”
Thanks to Barnes & Noble for sponsoring this important award and for making Adichie one of the three writers this year!
Chimamanda Adichie won the award for her workshop in Nigeria. She had been holding the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop annually for about ten years.
Farafina is “the highest-profile creative writing workshop on the continent,” the Brittle Paper article says. Twenty to twenty-four writers are chosen. Applications come in from all over Africa. The majority of the participants are from Nigeria.
The workshop takes place for ten days, ending with a pubic event. It was cancelled in 2017 when Nigerian Breweries who had been the sponsor, suddenly withdrew. I hope the award will help Adichie get sponsorship for the next workshop.
The award ceremony in New York will be in March. Tickets are $500. I don’t think I’ll be buying a ticket. I wonder if there is anyone who could take me as a guest?
President Buhari is Tweeting
The farmer who is Tweeting is actually Nigeria’s President Buhari. More likely, someone is tweeting for him. He’s the second of my three writers.
He said a couple of days ago, “I’m spending a few days at home in Daura on my farm before going to Paris to One Planet meeting.”
In the Tweet, he said, “I grow fruits & vegetables,& keep cattle. I hope this will inspire one more person to take up farming. My vision is for a country that grows what it eats.”
Hmm. Somehow I don’t expect Twitter followers to rush out to farm. But I do agree with the sentiment. The country should be completely self-sufficient in food production, and it’s a long way from that goal.
Amnesty International Letter-Writing Campaign
Every year in December Dorothy Rich, a member of our congregation at The Unitarian Church in Westport, invites us to sign letters and write cards.
She brings a variety of causes. For each, she has prepared letters to people in authority, and cards for us to write notes to the people who are facing hardship.
Yesterday I signed a letter to Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica.
The letter is to seek his protection for Shackelia Jackson, whose brother was killed by the police in 2014. We are not the only ones facing this issue! The info that Amnesty gave out says, “Police killings of mainly young and mostly poor men is to common in Jamaica, with some 2,000 killed in the past decade.”
Jackson is the third of my three writers. She says the police are harassing her, her family, and her community for her campaign for justice.
I also wrote a card of support to her, wishing her strength in her battle. I said I would blog about her today, so here I am.
There is information about her and her campaign, and a petition, at Amnesty.
Christmas Concert at The Unitarian Church
Yesterday was our annual Christmas Concert at The Unitarian Church in Westport.
Every year my husband complains. He says, “You Unitarians don’t believe in Christ. So why do you celebrate Christmas?” Then he adds, “Why do you have a concert when this is supposed to be church?”
I’ve tried many explanations; none is satisfactory. Do you have an answer for one or both of his questions?
One of the pieces we sang yesterday is from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. We sang the beginning of the third cantata of the oratorio. As Music Director Rev. Dr. Ed Thompson wrote in the program notes, “It is a piece filled with joy and gratitude.”
I love singing in German, and I love singing Bach.
In addition to this piece, we sang Hanerot Halalu, about Chanukah and the struggle of the Maccabeans for their religious freedom, an African Noel, though I was hard-pressed to see the African in it, and Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata.
I was filled with joy for the whole service!