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BW News:

Chris Abani, last speaker of EQ Series

Evocative Speaker and Author Wraps Up EQ

Chris Abani, one of the world’s most admired novelists and poets, closes out Enduring Questions: The Mark Collier Lecture Series on March 20 at 8 p.m. in Gamble Auditorium.

Imprisoned by the Nigerian government as a teenager for his writings, Chris Abani is also an evocative speaker who mixes the personal and the political in keynotes described as "nearly musical in their fluidity, heartbreak, and joy." Abani's "luminous and very funny talks are a vital statement on the redemptive power of art to battle tyranny and to remind us of our common humanity."

One of the best writers to emerge from Africa in half a century, Abani is the recipient of the PEN Freedom-to-Write Award and many other prizes. His bestselling novel, Graceland, about an Elvis impersonator in Lagos, won the Hemingway/PEN Prize. His other works of fiction include The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, and the award-winning Song For Night, about a child soldier who has lost his voice. All three were named a New York Times Editor's Choice.

"Happiness," Abani has said, "is learning to live with difficulty and grace." Although his writing is inextricably linked to suffering experienced under Nigeria's military dictatorship, the Poetry Foundation quotes the author as once saying of literature: "The art is never about what you write about. The art is about how you write about what you write about. I was a writer before I was in prison."

Abani is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz calls Abani “a force of nature."

All Enduring Questions lecture are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and fills on a first-come, first served basis.


The Baldwin Wallace University Core Curriculum centers on a common course entitled "Enduring Questions for an Intercultural World." This course encourages us to wrestle with the timeless questions that unite humanity:

What does it mean to be a human being?
How do human beings relate to each other? 
How do human beings relate to the natural world?

The Series was established in 2006 in honor of Dr. Mark Collier, President of Baldwin Wallace University from 1999-2006, and represents an on-going commitment from the University to bring acclaimed speakers to campus to extend the conversation beyond the classroom. 

The 2012-2013 Enduring Questions Lecture Series is sponsored by the Academic and Cultural Events Series (ACES), the Office of Core Curriculum,  the Office of Diversity Affairs, the MLK Week Committee and the Enduring Questions: Mark Collier Lecture Series Endowment.