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Freedom to Create Keynote with Wole Soyinka

Saturday, October 9
3:00 pm

Each year we gather at Alphabet City for our Freedom to Create Keynote to honor an international writer or artist who has overcome efforts to limit their creative freedom. We are so excited that this year’s speaker and honoree, Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka, is joining us in person for this event on Saturday, October 9th.

Whole Soyinka

Originally from Nigeria, Soyinka is an acclaimed writer, playwright, critic, and activist. He became the first ever African Laureate when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. A co-founder of the Cities of Asylum movement, Soyinka was imprisoned for his criticism of the Nigerian government and spent many years living in exile in Europe and the United States. He last visited Pittsburgh in 2006 when he participated in Jazz Poetry on Sampsonia Way.

On Sampsonia Way in 2006

On Sampsonia Way in 2006 (Credit: Christopher Humphrey Photography)

Soyinka will read from Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth—his first novel in almost 50 years—and then be joined by American author Richard Wiley on stage for questions and conversation.

Wole Soyinka rarely visits the United States, so this opportunity to hear him read in person should not be missed. Tickets for this event are free but capacity is limited…be sure to make your reservation early! And for those who prefer to watch from home, the Keynote will also be streamed on our virtual channel.

We look forward to seeing you on October 9th to celebrate Wole Soyinka’s new book and his return to Pittsburgh!