A Scandinavian travelogue (2008)

In 2008, I spent 3 months as a Guest Writer at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. I often made the 40-minute train journey to Stockholm, sometimes for no special reason. And I visited Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. When news of the bomb blast and the shootings broke, Oslo returned to my mind. I remember the elderly man who worked in the Tourists’ Office, and sold me the ticket for my day tour. He told me:

“Life is quiet. If I want some noise, London’s just an hour and a half by plane, New York’s six hours. I go and return to my quiet life. I like it that way.”

Anders Behring Breivik shattered that quiet. One imagines things will never be the same again. My heart goes out to Oslo, and Norway. And many the souls of the dead rest in peace.

Here’s a piece I wrote for The Lagos Review, the literary section of NEXT on Sunday, after my second visit to Oslo, for the Oslo House of Literature’s African Festival (2009): A week in the heart of coldness

And the travelogue from my 2008 Scandinavian tour (published in the 1st Quarter 2009 issue of South African literary magazine, WORDSETC), is here: A SENSE OF WONDER (pdf)

 

University of Birmingham reading – Tue Mar 1, 2011

CENTRE OF WEST AFRICAN STUDIES

University of Birmingham

2nd floor, Arts Building

(0121-414-5128)

Tuesday March 1st 2011

at 5.05pm in the Danford Room 

A reading by two distinguished Nigerian poets

FEMI OYEBODE

&

TOLU OGUNLESI 

FEMI OYEBODE is Professor of Psychiatry at the university of Birmingham. He has also published several books of poems, including a volume of Selected Poems published in the Kraftgriots series in 2003. He has been an Honorary Fellow in CWAS for many years. 

TOLU OGUNLESI is a highly regarded poet and cultural commentator. In 2009 he won the Arts & Culture Award at the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards for his story, ‘What the Truck?’, which was chosen from among 836 entries from 38 nations across the African continent. He is currently enrolled on the MA in Creative Writing at University of East Anglia.

All are welcome