Fatin Abbas, Kiprop Kimutai make James Baldwin residency shortlist

Fatin Abbas and Kiprop Kimutai are on the shortlist for being a Saint-Paul de Vence James Baldwin Writer-in-Residence.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the passing of James Baldwin, the France-based nonprofit association Les Amis de la Maison Baldwin has launched a new writer-in-residence program, which offers a one-month fellowship to an emerging writer in Saint-Paul de Vence, the village on the Cote d’Azur where for 17 years Baldwin made his home.

The inaugural writer in residence will be offered room and board in the village center for a month in the spring of 2018 to pursue their current creative project. While in residence, they will contribute to the literary culture of Saint Paul de Vence by offering a community event or creative public program, and will volunteer one afternoon per week greeting the public in our Welcome Center, which is located on the ground floor of the residency house.

The poet and essayist Justin Phillip Reed was selected to be the first Saint-Paul de Vence James Baldwin Writer-in-Residence to be in residence for a month in Fall 2018.

The next Writer-in-Residence includes a shortlist of ten and there are two names which followers of the African literary scene might be familiar with; Fatin Abbas and Kiprop Kimutai. For those unfamiliar with the two writers here is something about them;

Fatin Abbas

Fatin Abbas’ first novel, The Interventionists, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Co. Her short fiction has appeared in Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival, The Warwick Review, and Friction. The Sudan born writer is a recipient of the Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship, and has been awarded residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Villa Sarkia (Finland), Arc Artist Residency (Switzerland), and an Alumni Award granted by the Iceland Writers Retreat. Born in Sudan and raised in New York, she gained her BA from Cambridge (UK), her PhD from Harvard, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, where she was awarded both the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize and the Miriam Weinberg Richter Award for her writing.

Kiprop Kimutai

Kiprop Kimutai is a Nairobi-based writer whose fiction has appeared in Kwani Trust, Jalada Africa, Painted Bride Quarterly, No Tokens, Kachifo and Acre Books. In 2017, he was invited as a panelist for the Franschhoek Literary Festival and as a speaker for the Future Nations Schools Book fair in South Africa, where he shared ideas on Pan-African writing. He has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, and was the second runners’ up for the Kwani Manuscript Project, for his manuscript The Water Spirits. He also served as an editor for the anthology Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa, which archived the lived realities, challenges, dreams, personhood and experiences of queer Africans through poetic verse (Lethe Press, 2016). He is currently working on his debut novel.

You can read about all those in the shortlist here.

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