Publishing African Literature Today

We were hosted at St Hilda's College for a panel on Publishing African Literature Today: Independent Publishing of African Literature. Our speakers, Troy Onyango (Lolwe), Nick Mulgrew (uHlanga Press), and Stephanie Kitchen (African Books Collective), discussed their experiences as key creators and collaborators across online and print platforms, as well as the state of the literary market. There was also be the opportunity to purchase books. The panel was chaired by Professor Peter D. McDonald.

This was a free event, and was open to the public.

Stephanie Kitchen is a Director of the African Books Collective, an organisation distributing African-published books outside the continent. She is the Managing Editor of the publications of the International African Institute hosted at SOAS University of London.

Nick Mulgrew was born in Durban in 1990. A Mandela Rhodes Scholar, he is the founder and director of uHlanga, an award-winning poetry press publishing in English and isiXhosa. He is the author of four books, most recently A Hibiscus Coast, a novel, and is the recipient of the Nadine Gordimer Award, the National Arts Festival Prize, and the Thomas Pringle Award for his short fiction. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the University of Dundee.

Troy Onyango is a writer and editor from Kisumu. His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Doek!, Wasafiri, Isele Magazine, Johannesburg Review of Books, and Transition among others. The winner of the inaugural Nyanza Literary Festival Prize and first runner-up in the Black Letter Media Competition, he has also been shortlisted for the Caine Prize, the Short Story Day Africa Prize, the Brittle Paper Awards, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. An alumnus of the Caine Prize Workshop, Miles Morland Workshop, Jalada Workshop, Goethe Workshop and the Kwani?-SLS Workshop, he has also been a writer-in-residence at the Ebedi Writers Residency in Nigeria. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of LolweHis collection of short stories FOR WHAT ARE BUTTERFLIES WITHOUT THEIR WINGS is forthcoming in 2022.

Peter D. McDonald is Professor of English and Related Literature and Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. He writes on literature, the modern state and the freedom of expression; the history of writing systems, cultural institutions and publishing; multilingualism, translation and interculturality; and on the promise of creative criticism. He is the author of Artefacts of Writing: Ideas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu Bing (Oxford, 2017;; The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences (Oxford, 2009;; British Literary Culture and Publishing Practice, 1880-1914 (Cambridge, 1997); and co-author of PEN: An Illustrated History (Interlink/Thames & Hudson, 2021).