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Okri, Ben free

OBE 2001; FRSL

Born 15 March 1959; s of Silver and Grace Okri

novelist and poet


Univ. of Essex


Poetry Editor, West Africa, 1983–86; broadcaster and presenter, BBC, 1983–85; Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts, Trinity Coll., Cambridge, 1991–93. Vis. Prof., Sch. of English, Univ. of Leicester, 2012–14. Mem. Bd, RNT, 1999–2006. Play (adapted), The Outsider, Print Room, 2018. Member: Soc. of Authors, 1986–; Council, RSL, 1999–2004. FRSL 1998; FRSA 2003. Hon. DLitt: Westminster, 1997; Essex, 2002; Exeter, 2004; London, 2010; Hon. Dr of Utopia, Univ. voor het Algemeen Belang, Belgium, 2009; Hon. DArts Bedfordshire, 2010. Crystal Award, World Econ. Forum, Switzerland, 1995; Grinzane Prize for Africa, 2008; Internat. Literary Award of Novi Sad, 2008


Flowers and Shadows, 1980; The Landscapes Within, 1982; Incidents at the Shrine, 1986 (Commonwealth Prize for Africa, 1987; Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for fiction, 1987); Stars of the New Curfew, 1988; The Famished Road, 1991 (Booker Prize, 1991; Premio Letterario Internazionale Chianti-Ruffino-Antico Fattore, 1993; Premio Grinzane Cavour, 1994); An African Elegy, 1992; Songs of Enchantment, 1993; Astonishing the Gods, 1995; Birds of Heaven, 1995; Dangerous Love, 1996 (Premio Palmi, 2000); A Way of Being Free, 1997; Infinite Riches, 1998; Mental Fight, 1999; In Arcadia, 2002; Starbook, 2007; Tales of Freedom, 2009; A Time for New Dreams, 2011, Wild, 2012; The Age of Magic, 2014; The Magic Lamp: dreams of our age, 2017; (ed) Rise Like Lions: poetry for the many, 2018


music, chess, theatre, art, good conversation, walking, silence


c/o The Marsh Agency Ltd, 50 Albemarle Street W1S 4BD


PEN International (Vice-Pres., English Centre, 1997)