Fiction writer Nana Nkweti had only arrived on campus a week earlier, but she was fired up and ready to read to the eager audience of students, faculty, staff and community members who packed Bucknell Hall Aug. 29.
Nkweti has begun a four-month stay in Bucknell's Poet's Cottage as the Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing. "Coming to Bucknell and being part of a vibrant campus community is exciting — especially given the opportunity for access to world-class research facilities and the space for thought-provoking interactions with students and faculty alike," she said before reading two short stories from her collection Like Walking on Cowry Shells.
Nkweti's work often draws upon her cross-cultural heritage as an American whose Cameroonian parents moved back to their homeland when she was 14. Her overarching themes reflect "a lifelong effort to portray the great complexity and diversity of experiences present on the continent and in its diaspora. Representation matters to me," she says.
During her residency, Nkweti will be working on her novel-in-progress, Make a Meal of Me, which "explores the idea of identity through the lens of food, family and folklore in Cameroon," she says. "It features strong-willed yet flawed women navigating issues like body dysmorphia, albino civil rights and international adoption."
Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi also read at the Stadler Center for Poetry-sponsored event.
Learn about upcoming Stadler events here.