[Postponed] African Literary Award
Award Ceremony
Dec 10, 2023
12:00 pm
1:00 pm
Pay What You Can
Not a member? Join now


This program has been postponed until the new year. We will share the new program date as soon as it is confirmed. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you can join us for at a later date!

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is pleased to announce Eloghosa Osunde, author of Vagabonds!, as the winner of the 2023 African Literary Award. The award recognizes an African author who has produced a work of literary excellence that expands global understanding of African lives and storytelling. The award is granted to an author whose book has been read by the museum's African Book Club.

Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters – “vagabonds” whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits who inhabit transient spaces and alternative realities and for whom life itself is a form of resistance.

Osunde will be honored at the virtual Award Ceremony early in 2024. The program will include a live reading and conversation to be moderated by African Book Club co-founder Faith Adiele.

Copies of Vagabonds! are available from the MoAD Bookstore.

2023 African Literary Award Winner

Eloghosa Osunde is a Nigerian writer, multidisciplinary maker and worldbender. An alumna of the Lambda Literary Workshop (2019), New York Film Academy (2017) and the Caine Prize Workshop (2018), Eloghosa's writing has appeared in multiple publications including Paris Review (where they write a popular surrealist column called 'Melting Clocks'), Granta, Gulf Coast, Georgia Review, Guernica, Lithub, Catapult, Berlin Quarterly and their visual art in Vogue, The New York Times and Paper Magazine. They are a 2020 MacDowell Colony Fellow and the 2021 prose judge of Fugue Journal's annual writing contest. Profiled by Coveteur for their Class of 2021 issue—alongside other stars such as Issa Rae, Suni Lee and Quil Lemons—Eloghosa has also been featured by Elle, Them, Creative Review and Shondaland to name a few. Osunde is the author of Vagabonds!, published in 2022 by Riverhead Books (US), Fourth Estate (UK) and Farafina Books (NG).

Previously Announced Shortlisted Authors

Meron Hadero is an Ethiopian-American who was born in Addis Ababa and came to the US in her childhood via Germany. The first Ethiopian-born winner of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing (2021), her debut short story collection, A DOWN HOME MEAL FOR THESE DIFFICULT TIMES, was published in June 2022 in the US & Canada and in December 2022 in the UK, Commonwealth, EU and beyond. Meron’s short stories have been shortlisted for the 2019 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing and appear in Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Zyzzyva, Addis Ababa Noir, 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, and others. A 2023 San Francisco Public Library Laureate, Meron appeared in San Francisco Magazine’s 2018 feature “Making Waves: 100 Artists Putting the East Bay on the Map” and in Deutsche Welle’s year-end feature “Africa in 2021” for her short stories.

Arinze Ifeakandu was born in Kano, Nigeria, and currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. An AKO Caine Prize for African WriCng finalist and A Public Space WriCng Fellow, he is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A Dylan Thomas Prize and Republic of Consciousness Prize winner, he is also a finalist for the Kirkus and LAMBDA prizes, and a recipient of the O’Henry Prize and Story Prize Spotlight Award. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from A Public Space, Guernica, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, One Story. God’s Children Are LiJle Broken Things is his first book. 

Noor Naga is an Alexandrian writer who was born in Philadelphia, raised in Dubai, studied in Toronto, and now lives in Cairo. Her work has been published in Granta, LitHub, Poetry, BOMB, The Walrus, The Common, The Offing, and more. In 2017, she won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry and in 2019 she won both the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award and the DISQUIET Fiction Prize. Her verse-novel Washes, Prays was published by McClelland & Stewart in 2020. Set in Cairo in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Naga’s debut novel, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English, is a dark romance examining the gaps in North American identity politics, especially when exported overseas. If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English won the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Arab American Book Award, and has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the PEN/ Jean Stein Book Award and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.

Generous funding for this award has been provided by MoAD member, Cedric Brown, a supporter of arts in the diaspora.

About African Book Club

Launched in 2015 by award-winning author Faith Adiele and musician and educator Holly Shogbesan, African Book Club is a free monthly series that celebrates the current renaissance of African literature.

The series highlights Africa’s diversity by seeking out female and LGBTQ voices, newer literary genres like Afro-Futurism, Young Adult, and Mystery, and representation from all 50+ countries, including translations from Arabic, French and Portuguese.

In Fall 2019, MoAD partnered with Adiele, co-hosting the monthly gatherings. Building upon the momentum and community cultivated around the program series, this partnership has established African Book Club as a core component of the literary programming at MoAD.

In response to the pandemic, African Book Club has adapted to a virtual platform, allowing authors to join the conversation from across the globe and garnering an international audience of monthly attendees.

Made possible by

Programs, Residencies & Awards

Explore the many opportunities and experiences hosted at MoAD

Learn MORE