An Associate Professor and Head of Department of English at the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State Dr Idris Okpanachi is one of three writers who will be attending the Ebedi International Writers Residency Program, Iseyin, Oyo State from January 16 to February 28 2013.
Okpanachi, who until 2012 was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri was the winner of the 2008 Cadbury Prize for Poetry for his book, The Eaters of the Living. The book which was published by Kraft Books was also shortlisted for the 2009 NNLG Prize for Poetry.
Dr Okpanachi will use his stay in Ebedi to complete his prose fiction, The Silent Candle.
To join Okpanachi at Ebedi is another veteran writer, John Kofi Asiedu Sarpong. A former Vice Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Kaduna , Sarpong is famous for his six Children Poetry Collections, The Jason Poetry Collections, which are used in several Primary and Secondary schools in Nigeria. A Ghanaian who has been resident in Nigeria for the past 35 years, John Sarpong has been an ANA Judge for Children's Literature since 2009. He will be using his time at Ebedi to complete another Poetry Collection.
The third writer is another well known versatile and engaging Abuja based writer, Elnathan John, who is a Lawyer by profession. With about six publications to his name, Elnathan John has attended a number of Local and International Writers Workshops either as a writer or facilitator. He will be completing work on his new novel during his stay in Ebedi.
For the first time since its inception three years ago, the January 2013 Ebedi Residency has been partly supported by a foreign based Nigerian writer who wishes to remain anonymous. Also for the first time, the Residents on arrival in Iseyin on January 16 2013 will be formally received at a reception to be hosted by the Kabiyesi, Aseyin of Iseyin Oba AbdulGaniyi Adekunle, a Veterinary Doctor and literary enthusiast.
The Ebedi Residency Program is an initiative to enable writers from all over the world complete their Literary Works in a conducive environment at no cost to the writers. A Lagos based Publishing outfit, Literamed Publications has agreed to publish any manuscript from the residency which meets its publishing standards.
Apart from working on their books,the writers are expected to interact with young and upcoming writers within Iseyin Local Government Area.
Since its inception, the residency has played host to about 30 writers from within and outside Nigeria.