- Created: 27 September 2015
A 2007 recipient of Ghana’s national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy, Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer of poetry, plays, children's stories, radio documentaries, essays and fiction. Early in his career he made the brave choice of turning down a record deal, offered by SOLAR records founder Dick Griffey who saw him performing in Ghana in 2001, to concentrate on becoming a successful writer.
Parkes is the author of the acclaimed hybrid novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize and has since been translated into Dutch, Spanish, German, Catalan and Japanese. The French translation of the novel won the 2014 Prix Baudelaire, Prix Mahogany and Prix Laure Bataillon and was selected by leading literary magazine LIRE as the Best First Foreign Book of the year and one of the Top 20 books published in France in 2014. Parkes book of poetry, The Makings of You (Peepal Tree) includes the poem Barter, which was used in the 2013 Poems on the Underground London series.
He was recently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Aberystwyth (Wales) and was selected as one of Africa's 39 most promising authors of the new generation for the World Book Capital Africa 39 Project. Nii Ayikwei runs the Creative Writing course at the African University College of Communications in Accra, Ghana.