Ifeanyi (ee-FAH-nyee) Awachie (AH-wah-CHYAY) is a Nigerian-American writer and curator passionate about creating black and African representation through storytelling and programming. With a B.A. in English and creative writing from Yale University, Ifeanyi is author of personal nonfiction work Summer in Igboland and works as a spoken word poet and journalist for publications such as Globetrotter Magazine. As an undergraduate, Ifeanyi founded contemporary African arts festival AFRICA SALON. Continuing to demonstrate her talent for producing dynamic, meaningful, and sustainable cultural programming, Ifeanyi founded Literary Happy Hour, a reading and performance series for writers of color in New Haven, Connecticut. Ifeanyi is currently studying for an M.A. in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, University of London, with a focus on film and music from Nigeria and the African-American diaspora.
At Yale, Ifeanyi produced a novel and multimedia novella as senior projects in the selective Writing Concentration. She wrote, performed, and competed with Teeth Slam Poets, Yale's nationally-recognized slam poetry team, of which she was Artistic Director. She was chosen to perform her poem Let's Commence as the Ivy Ode, an annual tribute to Yale College, at the 2014 Class Day Ceremony, where she shared the stage with Secretary of State John Kerry.
A visual thinker determined to source images of Nigeria missing from Western media, Ifeanyi traveled alone to the country for the first time since birth to start multimedia project Summer in Igboland, aimed at documenting Nigeria's nuances and rebranding the country globally in a positive light. She won the Tristan Perlroth Prize for Summer Foreign Travel to support the project and hosted multiple exhibitions of her photography. Ifeanyi published the ebook Summer in Igboland in 2015.
As Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist for transformative literary arts program The Word Poetry, Ifeanyi taught spoken word in public schools and workshops in New Haven. As founder and curator of Literary Happy Hour, Ifeanyi won the Arts Council of Greater New Haven Community Engagement Grant and successfully embedded the series into the local community. In 2016, Ifeanyi was accepted to the competitive Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation writing workshops, where she studied fiction under award-winning author Tayari Jones.
Catch Ifeanyi at these upcoming events!
Ifeanyi's collage, pictured throughout the site, is a collection of professional and personal photos, friends' Snapchats, music and art posters, city maps, clippings from magazines, a drawing of the Yale logo by her baby sister, and other fragments that inspire her and through which she processes the world.