By Abubakar Abdullahi
After a very exciting and successful 2009 literary season which featured readings by national and international writers, creative writing workshops, weekly critique sessions and an acclaimed and widely patronized national literary contest, the precocious Abuja Writersâ€™ Forum (AWF) is set to kick-start its 2010 literary calendar with a trio of writers billed for the First Quarter Guest Writer Session.
On the bill for the first literary quarter are Eugenia Abu, Halima Sekula and Dul Johnson who will appear at the Pen and Pages Bookstore, venue of the Guest Writer Session on January 30, February 27 and March 27 respectively.
First on the cards will be ace television broadcaster and writer, Eugenia Abu who recently made a foray into poetry with the publication of her debut collection, Donâ€™t Look At Me Like That.
Her previous publication, a collection of newspaper articles, the award-winning, In The Blink Of An Eye, has been described as epitomizing â€œthe dilemma of a creative mind â€“ sensitive, even private â€“ yet (Mrs Abu is ) willing to share her innermost thoughts…for the good of the society….â€
A 1981 Ahmadu Bello University graduate of English, Mrs Abu also has a Masters in Communications Policy Studies from the London City University. Her mentoring passion led her to founding an annual writing workshop for children in Abuja.
In 2008 she was the judge for the short story category of the maiden edition of the literary contest organized by the Abuja Writers Forum. She currently heads NTAâ€™s News International.
Mrs Abuâ€™s reading on January 30 will also feature the guitarist Joy Kalu, the performance poet, Emman Eru also known as Dekmankind and the visual artist ,Tola Ijaiye.
Halima Sekula, who will read on February 27, is a scholar, playwright, poet and short story writer who teaches at the Nassarawa State University, Keffi.Â Dr Sekulaâ€™s published works include Honour Among Thieves (drama), Tongues of Flames (poetry) and The Waiting Place (short stories). She has also been published in journals such as The Halifax Review, Drum Voices Revue, Penwomanship, Transverse and Maple Tree Supplement .
AWF will host Dul Johnson author of two collections of short stories, Shadows and Ashes and Why Women Wonâ€™t Make It To Heaven on March 27. Dr Johnson who previously taught Creative Writing, Literature and Film at the Univerity of Jos and the Nigerian Film Institute Jos, currently runs his Topshots Productions outfit and has an eagerly awaited debut novel tentatively entitled, Into the Abyss.
The Guest Writer Session started in June 2008 and has been a consistent feature of the nationâ€™s literary scene becoming a veritable platform for upcoming and established writers. The venue, Pen and Pages Bookstore, is located at White House Plaza, Plot 79, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The 2009 series of the event included the Canadian novelist and short story writer Patricia Keeney and several Nigerian writers like El NathanÂ John, Jumoke Verissimo, Musa Idris Okpanachi, Uwem Akpan, Unoma Nguemo Azuah, Gabriel Okara,Â Gesiere Brisibe-Dorgu, Abubakar Gimba, Igoni Adrian Barret, Fatima Baâ€™aram Alkali, Judith Rapu and Abiathar Zadok.