On Friday 18 August 2017, Chimurenga hosted a public dialogue and recording session with the writer, poet, teacher and revolutionary Taban Lo Liyong.
Taban Lo Liyong (born 1936) is an acclaimed South Sudanese and Ugandan author who works fluidly between poetry, prose and literary criticism. Having obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, USA (1968), where he is a Fellow of the International Writers Workshop, he has taught in universities around the world – from Uganda, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan and South Africa, to the UK, the USA, Australia and Japan. Listen to the session with Prof Taban Lo Liyong here, facilitated by Bongani Kona.
Refusing the boundaries between the oral and the written word, folktales and experimentation, satire and political commentary, fiction and life, Taban Lo Liyong’s numerous ground-breaking anthologies and collections (including Fixions, 1968; The Last Word, 1969; Frantz Fanon’s Uneven Ribs, 1971; Another Nigger Dead, 1972; Ballads of Underdevelopment, 1976; Meditations of Taban Lo Liyong, 1978; and many more) bristle with biting satire, roguish comedy and a ferocious spirit of defiance. A professor of literature at South Sudan’s University of Juba, Taban Lo Liyong remains an outspoken social and political commentator and fierce proponent of the untethered poetic imagination.