Soyinka, Wole

Alternative names
Birth 1934-07-13

Biographical notes:

Wole Soyinka (b. 1934) is a Nigerian author and humanitarian.

From the description of Papers, 1966-1996. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 612241529

Wole (Oluwole Akinwande) Soyinka, the Nigerian writer, was born in Ijebu Isara, Nigeria, on 13 July 1934 and educated at Abeokuta Grammar School and Government College, Ibadan; then at University College, Ibadan (1952-1954) and Leeds University (1954-1957), where he graduated in English. In 1986 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. For fuller details of his life and achievements see Who's who .

From the guide to the Literary papers of Wole Soyinka, with a letter and a few related items, 1963-1987, (Leeds University Library)

Wole Soyinka was born in Nigeria in 1934 and educated at the University College, Ibadan (later the University of Ibadan) from 1952-54 and the University of Leeds (B.A., 1957). While in England, he served as a playreader at the Royal Court Theatre. Returning to the newly independent Nigeria in 1960, he held teaching appointments at the University of Ife, Ibadan (1962-63), and the University of Lagos (1965-67). Professor Soyinka was Head of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan from 1969 to 1972 and Head of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Ife from 1975 to 1985. During the Nigerian civil war, he was imprisoned by the military government and served two years before being released in 1969. He has held teaching posts as a visiting lecturer at many universities in the United States, most recently as a professor in African American Studies at Emory University.

His many plays include The Lion and the jewel, A Dance of the forests, and Death and the king's horseman . He is also a noted novelist, memoirist, essayist, and poet. He has been involved in international literary movements (Union of Writers of the African Peoples [UWAP] ) as well as global humanitarian efforts (Amnesty International, UNESCO), and is much in demand as a lecturer and speaker, known for his passionate commitment to civil liberty in his own country and around the world. In 1986, Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

From the guide to the Papers, 1966-1996., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)


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  • Authors, Nigerian--20th century
  • Letters 20th century
  • Political prisoners
  • Nigerian poetry (English) 20th century
  • Nigerian drama (English) 20th century
  • Letters--20th century
  • Political persecution


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  • Nigeria (as recorded)