Kweli International Literary Festival is presented and hosted by Times Reads/The New York Times. The festival will take place over three days from July 18 - 20, 2019 and include readings from debut and award winning authors, master classes and workshops, lyric film screenings and panel discussions, live music and more. The main event takes place at the New York Times Conference Center on Saturday, July 20, 2019; 9AM-5PM.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine is flying in from Denver. Sandra Cisneros has said that her stories “blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart, believable in everything they said and did. How tragic that American letters hasn’t met these women of the West before, women who were here before America was America.”
Karen Russell has said “Jaquira Díaz’ Ordinary Girls is a life story of astonishing honesty and beauty and power, a memoir of breath and rhythm and blood-red struggle, a book for everyone who has ever felt homesick inside their own skin, and for those who, like Díaz, sing the marvelous song of themselves at top volume.”
Kiese Laymon sang Bassey Ikpi’s praises when he wrote “We will not think or talk about mental health or normalcy the same after reading this momentous art object moonlighting as a colossal collection of essays.”
Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award. Tiphanie will be reading from her forthcoming novel, Monster in the Middle. Edwidge Danticat has said that “Tiphanie Yanique’s tremendous talents and incredible storytelling will astound you and leave you breathless.”
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is the author of the novel House of Stone, winner of the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place, shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize. Tipped by the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) as a defining voice of her generation, she has been invited to give public lectures about House of Stone at Oxford University and the Nordic Africa Institute. In 2017, she received the Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Center Literary Arts Residency Award for her work. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (2015), where she was a Maytag Fellow and a recipient of a Rydson Award for Excellence in Fiction, she is a native of Zimbabwe and has lived in South Africa and the USA. Shadows, her short story collection, was published to critical acclaim by Kwela in South Africa (2013) and awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize.
The recipient of the 2009 Yvonne Vera Award, Zimbabwe's short fiction prize, Novuyo’s writing has been featured in numerous anthologies, most recently McSweeney’s, Ploughshares and The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen. She is a co-founder and former Deputy Editor of the pan-African arts platform Jalada, and led Jalada’s editorial team on its first print anthology, the Jalada05/Transition 123 Fear Issue (June 2017)—which featured a cover based on Jordan Peele’s seminal movie, Get Out—in collaboration with the Harvard based Transition Magazine. Novuyo serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is a fiction editor at The Bare Life Review, a journal of refugee and immigrant literature based in California.