Henekou wins Palm Beach Poetry Festival Fellowship

Dr. Patron Henekou

January 22, 2018 by Palm Beach Poetry Festival

The Department of English's visiting Fulbright scholar, Dr. Patron Henekou, was awarded one of seven fellowships from the Palm Beach Poetry Festival to attend its 2018 festival workshops. The annual festival, held in Delray Beach FL, is an intense week of workshops, readings, craft talks, manuscript consultations, panel discussions and special events for poets from all over the world. The festival's fellowships cover full tuition and lodging for the workshop participant and afford them the opportunity to work closely with a member of the writing faculty.

Dr. Henekou received one of two Festival Fellowships for African Americans, and will work with faculty poet Tim Seibles. Dr. Henekou, an Assistant Professor of English Literature at the University of Lome in Togo, is on a nine-month Fulbright Scholarship with the University of Nebraska. He is the author of the play Dovlo: A Worthless Sweat and a collection of poetry in French entitled Souffles d’outre Coeur. He is currently working on a project that deals with the development of curricula in creative writing to be implemented by his home university in Togo.

This year, Henekou is partnering with Prairie Schooner in its groundbreaking FUSION series that features a carefully curated art and poetry web-feature that creates a conversation between international poetry and the poetry published in Prairie Schooner over its 90-year history.  The series includes art from the featured country and art from Nebraska; Henekou is curating poetry from Togo in this special issue of FUSION. While in Lincoln, Henekou has also been invited by the African Poetry Book Fund to co-edit with Kwame Dawes a bilingual selection of the Ewe poetry of leading Ghanaian poet, Kofi Anyidoho. On his return to Togo, Henekou is hoping to launch a new on-line literary journal for west Africa which he is developing in consultation with the African Poetry Book fund. 

 “Patron is a tireless and enthusiastic artist who brings energy and innovation to his various projects. It is wonderful to have him here,” said Kwame Dawes, Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Director of the African Poetry Book Fund. “His awards are well-deserved.”

To learn more about his work, join us for a special reading by Dr. Henekou on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. in Andrews Hall Bailey Library, and check out his interview with Kwasi Selorm on translation, art in reaction to politics, and the connections between poetry and song.