This May 16-19, 2013, the Yari Yari conference will take place in Accra, Ghana. Yari Yari is a conference that gathers women writers from all corners of the African diaspora, and was created by the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, founded by Jayne Cortez and Ama Ata Aidoo.
"Yari" means the future and each year the conference chooses a different word to modify this word; in the past it was "Pamberi," meaning "Forward" in Shona. This year it is "Ntoaso" which means "understanding and agreement" in Akan.
This year's conference is bittersweet, due the passing this January of the fire at its heart, OWWA President Jayne Cortez. Here is Jayne Cortez and her son, Denardo Coleman, performing my favorite piece of hers, "Find Your Own Voice":
The torch has passed to the rest of the committee, and the wonderful writers who will be making their way to West Africa this spring to cross-pollinate, demonstrate and celebrate. Poets, scholars, playwrights, novelists, storytellers, and journalists will be coming from Europe, the Americas, and Africa for this amazing event.
Featured writers include:
Angela Davis, US Kadija (George) Sesay, Veronique Tadjo,
author and scholar UK publisher and writer Cote d'Ivorien writer and scholar
Interested in going to Yari Yari this year? It's FREE! How awesome is that? You do need a visa to enter Ghana from the US, so make sure you get started on the process now. For more info, go to the conference site, here, on the Africana Studies website at NYU.
And if you can't go, but would like to support and share the word, the organizers have a great site set up here, which features videos of the 2004 conference and updates about participants.
In memory of Jayne, a true firespitter, Find your own voice -- and use it!