Visiting assistant professor of English
Spring 2008 courses: “Intro to Creative Writing” and “Escape and Exile Caribbean Fiction”
Asali Solomon was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Her first book, a collection of stories entitled Get Down, is set mostly in Philadelphia. Solomon’s work has been featured in Vibe, Essence, and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts. She received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for the stories in Get Down and was selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” in 2007. She was short-listed for the 2007 Hurston-Wright Foundation Legacy Award Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2007 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. She has a Ph.D. in English from University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in fiction. She is at work on Disgruntled, a novel about people who hate their jobs.
Allan K. Smith Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Spring 2008 courses: “Global Short Fiction,” “Intro to Creative Writing,” and “Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction”
Okey Ndibe is the author of the novel, Arrows of Rain, and is the founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published in the U.S. by novelist Chinua Achebe, author of the classic novel, Things Fall Apart. From 2000 to 2001, he served on the editorial board of the Hartford Courant, where his piece, “Eyes to the Ground: The Perils of the Black Student,” won the 2001 Association of Opinion Page Editors award for best opinion essay in an American newspaper. He also won a best opinion piece award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Chapter. He spent a year at the University of Lagos, Nigeria on a Fulbright, and he writes a weekly column for The Sun of Nigeria. He has taught at Connecticut College and Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, winning the college’s New Faculty Award. He is finishing his second novel titled foreign gods, incorporated.
Okey Ndibe’s first novel, Arrows of Rain, is set in the fictional African state of Madia, suffering under its despotic ruler General Isa Palat Bello. When a young woman runs into the sea and drowns, the police question the last man to see her alive, an eccentric vagrant known as Bukuru. His story reveals not just an army beyond control and a disintegrating country but also how his own tragic history is intertwined with the murderous past of Isa Palat Bello. Here, he writes to a journalist, Femi, before being interrogated by the police about the incident.