- Category: PA 2012
Tolu Ogunlesi was born in 1982. He has written poetry since his University days, publishing a collection,Listen to the geckos singing to a Balcony (Bewrite Books) in 2003, a year before completing his pharmacy degree. His novella for young adults, Conquest and Conviviality (Hodder Murray) was published in 2008.
Ogunlesi’s poetry has appeared in The Lagos Review, Wasafiri, Sable, Daily Times, The London Magazine, Stanford Magma, Stanford’s Black Arts Quarterly and World Literature Today, amongst others, and been translated into Chinese, Turkish, Italian, Swedish and Latvian. He has received a number of awards including the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg poetry prize 2007. Ogunlesi received a Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer Fellowship in 2008, and the Cadbury Visiting Fellowship by the University of Birmingham in 2009. In 2009, he was also shortlisted for the PEN Studzinski Literary Prize, and awarded a CNN Multichoice African Journalism award (Arts & Culture). Ogunlesi has participated in literary festivals and workshops in Nigeria, Uganda, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
Ogunlesi worked as Features Editor and Editorial Board member at Nigerian daily newspaper NEXT between 2009 and 2011. His journalism has appeared in the London Independent, Huffington Post, CNN.com, Caravan, and Transition. Since 2009 he has written Ongoing Concerns, a weekly politics column that appears online and in print.
In 2011 he was a tutor on an Arvon Foundation bilingual creative writing workshop, and graduated from the Creative Writing programme at the University of East Anglia, UK.He lives in Lagos, Nigeria, from where he manages arts projects for the British Council, freelances as a journalist, blogs (www.toluogunlesi.com), and tweets feverishly (@toluogunlesi).