Otosirieze for Open Country Mag.

Otosirieze

Founder & Editor

Otosirieze, a writer, culture journalist, curator, and media consultant, is the founder and editor of Open Country Mag. For the magazine, he has written longform features and Profiles of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rita Dominic, Teju Cole, Damon Galgut, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Chidi Mokeme; curates The Next Generation, a series of special issues highlighting rising literary voices; co-conceptualized Nigeria’s first formal bestseller list, with bookstore Rovingheights; and runs a Curatorial Fellowship, funded by Africa No Filter, mentoring creatives in art, fashion, music, and media. He was editor of Folio Nigeria, then CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Africa, before its relaunch on Open Country Mag, and was briefly Business/Creative Head of its planned portfolio company Folio Digital Media. There, he wrote over a hundred pieces on the Nigerian culture scene, covering innovation in over 20 fields, including film, art, music, tech, sports, cuisine, fashion, journalism, sculpture, beauty, health, and activism. He was chair of The Gerald Kraak Prize, a South African initiative for storytelling about gender, sexuality, and social justice, and edited its fourth anthology The Beautyful Ones Have Just Been Born. He was a judge for The Morland Scholarship, a British grant for African writers. He has led or joined editorial teams at a host of platforms and projects in African literature, including at 14, the pioneering LGBTQ collective. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has given guest lectures at Dartmouth College and at Grinnell College. He has an MA in African Studies and a BA in English/History from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among “The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” by Avance Media. He has appeared on With Chude‘s list of “The 150 Most Interesting Nigerians in Culture.” Twitter & Instagram: @otosirieze. Website: otosirieze.com.

All Works

June 3, 2024

The Nigerian poet and editor of Agbowo’s “searing” The Years of Blood has “vivid, unsettling imagery drawing on Yoruba cosmology and folklore.” It is forthcoming in Fall 2025.

February 2, 2024

In a storied year for Nigerian cinema, our inaugural list prioritizes the realization of narrative, and these features stand out.

January 16, 2024

In a year of ensembles, in which it fell on collective performances to elevate stories, these actors stood out — among the films and TV series we saw.

December 11, 2023

As war rages in Sudan, we turn to one of its major artists, a pioneering figure in the 2000s resurgence in African literature.

November 30, 2023

In five years, Chess in Slums Africa brought hope to thousands of children and became a charity phenomenon. But to get there, its founder Tunde Onakoya had to survive terrors: “It’s the kind of things that you see in movies, and you’re, like, ‘This is really bad,’ but then you’re seeing it, the real consequences of poverty.”

October 3, 2023

Headlined by a quartet of feted veteran voices in Wole Soyinka, Aminatta Forna, Jennifer Makumbi, and Chris Abani, NYU Accra’s 30-author symposium is a convergence of inspiration. “We have to tell our own story,” said convener and school director Chike Frankie Edozien.

June 3, 2024

The Nigerian poet and editor of Agbowo’s “searing” The Years of Blood has “vivid, unsettling imagery drawing on Yoruba cosmology and folklore.” It is forthcoming in Fall 2025.

February 2, 2024

In a storied year for Nigerian cinema, our inaugural list prioritizes the realization of narrative, and these features stand out.

January 16, 2024

In a year of ensembles, in which it fell on collective performances to elevate stories, these actors stood out — among the films and TV series we saw.

December 11, 2023

As war rages in Sudan, we turn to one of its major artists, a pioneering figure in the 2000s resurgence in African literature.

November 30, 2023

In five years, Chess in Slums Africa brought hope to thousands of children and became a charity phenomenon. But to get there, its founder Tunde Onakoya had to survive terrors: “It’s the kind of things that you see in movies, and you’re, like, ‘This is really bad,’ but then you’re seeing it, the real consequences of poverty.”

October 3, 2023

Headlined by a quartet of feted veteran voices in Wole Soyinka, Aminatta Forna, Jennifer Makumbi, and Chris Abani, NYU Accra’s 30-author symposium is a convergence of inspiration. “We have to tell our own story,” said convener and school director Chike Frankie Edozien.

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