Mukoma Wa Ngūgī Award-winning author • Poet • Critic

Mukoma Wa Ngūgī is an award-winning Kenyan-American writer, poet, critic, and academic. The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity and Ownership (2018), Mrs. Shaw (2015), Black Star Nairobi (2013), Nairobi Heat (2009), Logotherapy: Poems (2016), and Hurling Words at Consciousness: Poems (2006) are among his most notable works and have been translated into German, Turkish, and French.

In 2009, he was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and in 2010 for the Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition (later titled Mrs. Shaw). The German translation of Nairobi Heat was named the 2014 Crime Book of the Season by Buchkultur.

Mukoma’s writings have appeared in The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Chimurenga, The Los Angeles Times, The LA Review of Books, Wasafiri, Kenyon Review, Kwani?, Tin House, and Africa Is A Country, among other notable publications.

A member of the African Literature Association’s Executive Council, he is the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. In 2013, New African magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Africans. In 2015, he served as a judge for the Writivism Short Story Prize and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Mukoma holds a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, and a BA in English and Political Science from Albright College. He is an Associate Professor of English at Cornell University.

More from and about Mukoma Wa Ngūgī: This Is What I Know”, “Hunting Words With My Father”, “Ancestries Of Land Mines”, and “A Poem For Arthur Nortje And Other Lost African Poets(Poetry Foundation) • “Don’t Tell African Authors What They Can And Cannot Write About(Chatham House) • “The Poem That Made Me Fall In Love With Words”, “The Rise—And Cost—Of The African Novel In English”, “What Decolonising The Mind Means Today(LitHub) • “Binyavanga: Our Man Of The People(Africa Is A Country) • “African In America or African American(The Guardian)

Author image: