Professor and Author to Discuss ‘The Beauty I Have Seen’ at Personally Speaking

Monday, March 25, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- March 25, 2013 -- Tanure Ojaide, a native of Nigeria and the author of “The Beauty I Have Seen,” will deliver the final talk of the 2012-13 Personally Speaking lecture series at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, in Atkins Library, Halton Reading Room.

In the book, Ojaide turns to his life’s experiences to create phases of the poetic journey, ranging from the poet — or minstrel — as a public figure, a traveler and observer of humanity, to one grounded in the landscape and fate of his native land. His voice is at once passionate and restrained, relaxed and poignant, blending African oral traditions with modern techniques.

Ojaide’s grandmother raised him in a rural, riverine part of the Niger Delta that was oil-rich yet still impoverished. He attended Catholic and government schools before earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Ibadan. He completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English at Syracuse University, and he has grown to be a writer, a poet, a folk artist, a scholar, an environmentalist, a teacher and a voice for Nigeria.

At UNC Charlotte, Ojaide is the Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies. He specializes in Pan-Africana/black, Caribbean and non-Western and post-colonial literatures; folklore and oral literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora; and creative writing (poetry). He has published 17 books of poetry and close to a dozen other books, including memoirs, collections of short stories, novels and books of literary criticism.

In 2011, Ojaide received the Cadbury Prize for Poetry awarded by the Association of Nigerian Authors for “The Beauty I Have Seen.”

The 2012-13 edition of the Personally Speaking lecture series is its third season. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS), the lecture series further connects the community with CLAS faculty members and their work. At each of the four events held annually, authors speak and answer audience questions on books recently written.


Public Relations media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,