It official. Ugandan writer and poet Mildred Barya has been selected as the 2015 winner of the Sylt Foundation African Writer´s Residency Award. The residency includes a two months stay in a subsidized apartment on the German island of Sylt.
She follows in the illustrious steps of folks like Nii Ayikwei Parkes (2014) and Chika Unigwe (2013).
Barya was selected by three independent judges Professor Helon Habila (writer and literary scholar, Nigeria), Nii Parkes (writer, poet, editor, Ghana/GB), and Dr Katharina Fink (literary scholar and writer, University of Bayreuth/Germany) out of an impressive list of strong contenders out of 12 African countries.
The jury commented: …”Mildred Barya is an extraordinary writer who brings into the English language both a technical proficiency and a spirit of a distinctly non-English imagination. The ambitious literary project she will be working on during her residency is very contemporary in its exploration on traveling and identity.“
Barya a founding member the African Writers Trust was awarded the 2008 Pan African Literary Forum Prize for Africana Fiction. She had earlier gained recognition for her poetry, particularly her first two collections, Men Love Chocolates But They Don’t Say (2002) and The Price of Memory: After the Tsunami (2006).
Mildred Barya, who currently teaches at the University of Denver as she pursues a PHD will take up at the Sylt Foundation´s headquarters in 2016.
Congratulations are in order. Well in Mildred.