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In Conversation with Otoniya J. Okot Bitek

Sunday, October 16 // 4PM // Free to attend

Image of book cover with A IS FOR ACHOLI in white text, and Otoniya J. Okot Bitek in black text underneath. The image is a red watercolour painting of a face.

Close up photo of Juliane.Award-winning playwright, emcee, agitator, artist and writer of The First Stone DM St. Bernard hosts an interview with Uganda poet Otoniya J. Okot Bitek upon the release of her new book A is For Acholi. Books will be available onsite.

A is For Acholi is a sweeping collection exploring diaspora, the marginalization of the Acholi people, the dusty streets of Nairobi and the cold grey of Vancouver. Playfully upending English and scholarlynotation Otoniya J. Okot Bitek rearranges the alphabet, hides poems in footnotes and slips stories into superscripts.The poet opens up ways of rethinking history as she rewrites both the 1862 contact of the Acholi people with the British and the racist texts of Joseph Conrad, while also searching for a way to live on lands that are fraught with the legacies of colonization, similar to her ancestral homeland. With writing that is lyric, layered and deeply felt, the poems in A Is for Acholi unfold maps of history, culture and identity, tracing a route to a present where the poet dreams of writing a world without empire. Learn more at https://julianeokotbitek.com/