Tolu Ogunlesi (pic by Ifeyinwa Uzowulu)

Tolu Ogunlesi (pic by Ifeyinwa Uzowulu)

tolu.ogunlesi (AT) gmail.com

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Tolu Ogunlesi was born in 1982. He is the author of a collection of poetry, Listen to the geckos singing from a balcony (Bewrite Books, 2004) and a novella, Conquest & Conviviality (Hodder Murray, 2008). In 2007 he was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg poetry prize, in 2008 the Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer Fellowship, and in 2009 a Cadbury Visiting Fellowship by the University of Birmingham. His fiction and poetry have been published in The London Magazine, Wasafiri, Farafina, PEN Anthology of New Nigerian Writing, Litro, Brand, Orbis, Nano2ales, Stimulus Respond, Sable, Magma, Stanford’s Black Arts Quarterly and World Literature Today, among others. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.


Conquest and Conviviality (Hodder Education, 2008) – young adult fiction

Listen to the geckos singing from a balcony (Bewrite Books, 2004) – poetry

Fellowships / Awards:

– Finalist, Inaugural PEN/Studzinski Literary Award (winners to be announced in May 2009)

– 2009 Cadbury Visiting Fellow, Center for West African Studies, University of Birmingham (April – May 2009)

– 2008 Guest Writer, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden (September – November 2008)

– Nominee (longlist), The Future Awards Artist of the Year 2008

– Winner, Guardian (UK) / Ziji Publishing short story Competition (2007)

– Winner, 1st Facebook Poetry Competition, 2007

– Winner, 2006 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize

– Nominee (shortlist), The Future Awards Writer of the Year 2006

– Noteworthy Poet, Concorso internazionale di poesia Castello di Duino 2006

– National and International Winner, 2005 Scenarios from Africa writing Contest

Writing Festivals / Workshops:

– Poetry Performer, African Weerword 2005, Amsterdam, January 2005

– Poetry Performer, DeNachten 2005, Antwerp, January 2005

– Fellow, 2005/2006 British Council Crossing Borders (online) Literary Mentoring Project

– Delegate, British Council Beyond Borders Literary Festival, October 19 – 21, 2005, Kampala, Uganda.

– Caine Writing Workshop, Crater Lake, Kenya, March 2006

– Guest Writer, Poetry Potter, Lagos, May 2007

– Udonandu Writing Workshop (facilitated by Chimamanda Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina and Jason Cowley), July/Aug 2007

– Participant, Goteborg Book Fair, September 2008

– Participant, Helsinki Book Fair, October 2008

Magazine credits:

Glide Magazine (Virgin Nigeria in-flight magazine), X-mag (in Norwegian translation), Xclusive Magazine, Guardian Life Magazine, MADE Magazine, True Love West Africa, Farafina, New Routes (Quarterly journal of the Life and Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden), Tell Magazine, Stanford Black Arts Quarterly (BAQ), Poesia, Black Arts Quarterly, Wasafiri, Sable, Mississippi Review, Inkpot, Karogs (in Latvian Translation), Sentinel Poetry Quarterly, DrumVoices Revue, Birmingham Arts Journal, The Journal, Magma, The Pinch Journal, TIME Magazine (Letters to the Editor), World Literature Today, Wordsetc (forthcoming)

Newspaper credits:

The Guardian (Lagos), Daily Independent, The Argus, New Age, Business Day, Helsinki Times, This Day, Uppsala Nya Tidning (Uppsala, Sweden)


Weaverbird Anthology of New Nigerian Fiction (Farafina)

Nano2ales (Guardian UK/Ziji Publishing Short Story Competition anthology)

Eko o ni baje (anthology of stories set in and/or inspired by the city of Lagos)

Lagos of the poets (ed by Odia Ofeimun)

After Shocks (poetry anthology; edited by Tom Lombardo)

Dance the Guns to Silence – 100 Poems Inspired by Ken Saro-Wiwa (ed by Kadija Sesay and Nii Ayikwei Parkes)

The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories (New Gong Publishing)

PEN Anthology of New Nigerian Writing,

In our own words: A generation defining itself


Online magazines:

3 Quarks Daily, Eclectica, Buran, The Vocabula Review, Crossing Borders, Banyan Review, Stickman Review, Hiss Quarterly, Underground Voices, Pindeldyboz, African Writing, Sentinel poetry, The Maynard, Hackwriters.


  • Contributing Writer, Flax Books (UK) Fictional Blogging Project
  • “Fela Meets Abba”: Scandinavian Travel Blog (text + photos)  http://www.felameetsabba.blogspot.com
  • Contributing Editor, Glide Magazine (Virgin Nigeria in-flight magazine)
  • Columnist, BHF Magazine
  • Blogger, NEXT Newspaper
CONQUEST & CONVIVIALITY (young adult fiction)
Conquest & Conviviality; Hodder Education, 2008
Product Description: Binding Paperback
EAN: 9780340984161
ISBN: 0340984163
Publication Date: 2008-07-25
Publisher: Hodder Murray

Product Description: Binding Paperback
Publication Date: 12/2004
Publisher: Bewrite Books