Nii Ayikwei Parkes

ASL and Africa

December 5th, 2011  |  Published in Schools

I’ve just received a lovely set of handmade thank you cards from the American School in London and I love them. One of them is blue, which makes them even better! I started working with ASL in 2007 and I’ve loved every minute, especially my stint as Bergeron Fellow in 2010 (I followed in a line of incredible fellows including Mimi Khalvati, William Fiennes, Billy Collins and Phillip Lopate!). But what I’m loving recently – apart from the honour of having my novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, added to the reading list for the African Literature class for the last two years – is the opportunity to go in to the school and speak to students about my work and African literature in general. This year I got to visit again, but the experience was different because the way the web works has changed; I saw blogs from the students before I went in and we had some twitter overlaps so I really felt like I had a connection with the classes before I went in. The discussions, as always, were great; there are some fantastic, bright kids hiding behind those walls. Not surprising though, considering the teachers they have – like Meghan Tally, who invites me to her African lit class every year! And that’s all this blog is, a celebration.

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