54 FACULTY OF HUMANITIES EDUCATION Professor of Literatures in English Department of Literary Cultural Communication Studies Tel 868 662 2002 ext. 82029 Fax 868 663 5059 E-mail funso.aiyejinasta.uwi.edu PROF. FUNSO AIYEJINA Funso Aiyejina is a poet short story writer playwright documentary-film maker and literarycultural critic. He is a graduate of the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Nigeria Acadia University Wolfville Nova Scotia Canada and The University of the West Indies St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago. He has taught at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Nigeria and Lincoln University Jefferson City MO USA and is currently Professor Emeritus of Literatures in English at The University of the West Indies St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago. The subject of his PhD from The UWI Africa in West Indian Literature From Claude McKay to Edward Kamau Brathwaite set the tone for his lifelong interest in African cultural retentions in and influences on the New World of the Americas. Aiyejina is the authoreditor of eight books two mono- graphs two play scripts 14 book chapters and numerous conference papers book reviews and encyclopaedia entries and the producer director and scriptwriter of two documenta- ries the second of which is the only documentary on Earl Lovelace to date. He is a co-transcriberco-translator of two major collections of Trinidad Orisa songs. His poems and short stories have appeared in 11 leading anthologies of African Literature such as The Anchor Book of African Stories Literature Without Borders Kiss and Quarrel YorubaEnglish Strategies for Mediation The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry and The New African Poetry. Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier editors of The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry describe him as one of Nigerias finest satirists 413. The Character Who Walked Out On His Author his play-tribute to Wole Soyinka on his 70th birthday has been performed in Trinidad and Tobago Nigeria and Jamaica. His documentary film on Earl Lovelace has been screened at the Bocas Lit Festival Trinidad and Tobago and at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and in South Africa. His first book of poetry A Letter to Lynda and Other Poems 1988 and 2006 won the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize 1989. I The Supreme and Other Poems 2004 shortlisted for the same prize explores the nature and temper of dictatorship especially military dictatorship as manifested in postcolonial Africa. His first book of short stories The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories 1999 has been described as a wonderful book of short stories Outlook India.comApril 2000 and as a book that is distinguished by its biting satire and gentle humour and an almost Orientalist karmic attitude towards lifes vicissitude The Book Review Vol. XXIV Number 4 April 2000 20. It won the Best First Book Prize for Africa Commonwealth Writers Prize 2000. He has published widely on African and West Indian Litera- ture and Culture. His most recent publications include A Place in the World Essays and Tributes in Honour of Earl Lovelace 70 2008 Earl Lovelace Growing in the Dark Selected Essays 2003 and Self-Portraits Interviews with Ten West Indian Writers and Two Critics 2003.He is the co-editor of Moving Right Along Caribbean Stories in Honour of John Cropper 2010 and Caribbean Literature in a Global Context 2006. Aiyejina has maintained an active research interest in the Orisa tradition of Trinidad and produced a number of seminal publications such as with Rawle Gibbons Orisa Orisha Tradition in Trinidad with Rawle Gibbons and Baba Sam Phills Songs of the Orisa Paleis of Trinidad and Tobago cd 2005 and the co-translation with Professor Maureen Warner- Lewis of the liner-notes to the Yoruba songs in the 1962 Field Recordings of Alan Lomax Grenada Creole and Yoruba Voices the 1962 Field Recordings of Alan Lomax.Rounder 11661-1728-2 2001. He has been engaged in an ongoing collection analysis and translation of hitherto unrecorded Trinidad Orisa songs and in the video-documentation of Orisa festivals of Trinidad. He has published an original essay in which he interrogates some of the existing translations and analyses of Herskovits 1939 Trinidad Orisa songs as well as presents an analysis of two of his own recently collected songs one of which Silekun has been adopted by the Council of Orisa Elders of Trinidad and Tobago as the Orisa national prayer-song. In his engagement with the academy Aiyejina has functioned essentially as a teacher literary critic cultural analyst and creative writer. He has been at the forefront of the establishment of creative writing as an integral component of the offerings of The University of the West Indies. He designed and started the teaching of an MFA Master of Fine Arts Fiction programme the first of its kind in the UWI system. He has been a co-facilitator of the Cropper Foundation Caribbean Creative Writing Workshop since its inception in 2000. From 1996 to 2001 he was Assistant Editor Trinidad and Tobago Review and its Literary Editor from 2001 to 2002. He is the founding co-ordinator of Campus Literature Week which has become the primary platform for showcasing quality creative works by staff students and members of the general public and an annual opportunity for the campus to host a Writer-in- Residence.