Adapted from Daylight Media
A. Igoni Barrett is a Nigerian writer with Jamaican roots. He was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 1979 to a Nigerian mother and Jamaican father - poet, essayist and novelist, Lindsay Barrett. Igoni attended the University of Ibadan to study agriculture, but left in his final year to pursue a writing career.
In 2005, he won the BBC World Service short story competition. In 2006, he was the Story Hall Spotlight Artist for the month of May for Rain Tiger. Also in 2006, his collection, From Caves of Rotten Teeth, was selected as a ‘book of the year’ by the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald. The January 2, 2006 BBC World Service broadcast of ‘The Phoenix’, one of the stories in the collection, was a Radio ‘Pick of the Day’ in The Guardian. In 2009, it was chosen as a ‘book of the festival’ at the Garden City Literary Festival.
Other short fiction by Igoni has been published in many print and online magazines, including AGNI, Guernica, Eclectica Internazionale, Kwani? and Stickman Review. His work also has appeared in the anthologies Incommunicado: Tales from across the Empire (2006) and The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories (2008).
In 2007, he joined Farafina magazine, where he was managing editor until his exit in 2009. In May 2009, he initiated and managed “9 Writers, 4 Cities: The Book Tour”, which was a 6-week reading tour by several prominent Nigerian writers, including his father. In September 2009, Igoni was a guest writer at the Garden City Literary Festival. He was the founding organiser of the BookJam reading series in Lagos, Nigeria, which featured the writers Michela Wrong, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina, Helon Habila and Tsitsi Dangarembga, among others.
In September 2010, he was awarded a 3-month Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship to Mombasa, Kenya. In October 2010, he was a guest writer at the Storymoja Hay Festival Kenya, alongside Michela Wrong, Doreen Baingana, Petina Gappah and Benjamin Zephaniah. Igoni Barrett has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, in 2009 and 2010.
In July 2011, he travelled to Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA for a one-month Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and in September participated in a one-month residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy.