Nii Ayikwei Parkes
Author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes was BookTrust's second online writer in residence from September 2009 to February 2010. Nii was children’s poet in residence at the Brighton Festival in 2007, has led storytelling sessions at the Southbank Centre and British Museum and his poem ‘Wrong Side’ has been memorised by hundreds of pupils across the UK. His poem, 'Tin Roof', was selected for the 'Poems on the Underground' initiative in 2007. As a socio-cultural commentator and advocate for African writing, Nii has led forums internationally, and he runs the African Writers’ Evening series at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. His debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009.
Nii also writes for children under the pen name K P Kojo. His first book for children, The Parade, a book of Ananse stories, was selected for the 2012 USBBY’s Outstanding International Books list in the United States and translated into Korean. His most recent book, Tales from Africa (2017) retells fables from traditions ranging from the Berber to Zulu. Prior to publishing Nii ran over 300 readings and workshops in schools around the world. In 2015, he was selected as one of Africa’s 39 most promising authors of the new generation for the World Book Capital Africa 39 Project. Nii is based between Ghana and London.