2022 Right to Write Award Recipient: Liz Femi

2022 Right to Write Award Recipient: Liz Femi

Liz’s Bio:

Liz Femi is a Nigerian-American writer, performer, and audiobook narrator. Her work has previously been performed at Rogue Machine Theatre’s Rant and Rave. Her award-winning one-person play, Take Me to the Poorhouse, made Ms. Magazine’s “Top 10 Shows at the Hollywood Fringe Festival,” won Best of Fringe, Best International Show, a Duende Distinction, and NAACP Theatre Award nomination. Liz holds an MFA in Dramatic Arts and a Masters in English Education from Harvard University.  Liz’s website: https://www.lizfemi.com/

Liz’s statement:

“I could spend a lifetime in the rich landscape of African girlhood and its furrows across the diaspora. I’m curious about who I used to be so I may better grasp who I am becoming. Growing up in Nigeria, I consumed a steady diet of British books and knew distinctly what I loved about Western literature. But I couldn’t find what Western literature loved about me. I often felt like a prop, or tolerated, at best. In Western media, I was, dependably, the child soldier or disease-ravaged child with a blank face — or a face with an unyielding smile. Rarely did I find stories that showcased the vividly imaginative and quirky children I grew up with. Years later, as a teenager in America, I wanted to shout that I was African and proud of it! But, deep down, I didn’t believe it. Coming of age in a foreign culture was doubly demanding in its awkwardness.

Now, in my own writing, I often ponder: What does my specific young adulthood mean? And how does its specificity build on timeless, cross-cultural storytelling about childhood and adolescence?

Now, these questions have stronger chances of survival.

I hope people see my work as a passage to the vast psychological terrains of Black consciousness — stories that flout self-centered, self-conscious, vulnerable, shameless characters who find themselves drawn to the fringes outside of or within themselves. Characters who thrive or falter in the painful and joyous complications of being human.”

Read more about Writeability and the Right to Write Awards here.

  • Sharon Smith Cin

    I am in awe! During these difficult days, reading Liz’s bio is especially good for the soul. Thank you for sharing, Katey.

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