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Black Mountain Institute


Born in 1934 as a member of the Yoruba people, Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka achieved early success as a playwright. After earning a degree in drama from the University of Leeds, in England, he founded theater companies in Nigeria and produced several of his own works, including A Dance of the Forests, which drew the ire of intellectuals and government authorities alike for its critique of post-colonial Africa. During his country’s civil war, Soyinka’s calls for peace led to his incarceration in solitary confinement from 1967 to 1969, an experience he chronicles in Poems from Prison and the memoir The Man Died. A period of exile in the 1970s saw the creation of many of his most enduring works, including the novelSeason of Anomy; two highly regarded tragedies, Madmen and Specialists and Death and the King’s Horseman; and his principal critical work, Myth, Literature, and the African World, which examines the role of the artist in the light of Yoruba mythology and belief. Soyinka has written several autobiographical works, including the childhood memoir Aké and You Must Set Forth at Dawn, which chronicles the writer’s exile from his homeland. In 1986, Wole Soyinka became the first African writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.


African drama; African literature; Biography; Postcolonialism; Soyinka; Wole


Creative Writing | Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Political Science | Political Theory | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies




Student Union Theatre, UNLV

Video file size: 242 megabytes

Audio file size: 45.8 megabytes

soyinka12feb2013.mp3 (47000 kB)