Gabriel Okara was born at Bumoundi, Bayelsa State, in the Niger Delta in 1921 and educated at Government College Umuahia in Nigeria and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He worked as a bookbinder and printer for Federal Government Press at Lagos, served as the director of cultural and information services for the short-lived Republic of Biafra, and was the general manager of the Rivers State newspaper and broadcasting corporations. He is an honorary member of the Pan-African Writers’ Association, a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, and is currently writer in residence at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Brenda Marie Osbey is a poet and essayist. Her most recent volumes are History and Other Poems and All Souls: Essential Poems. A native of New Orleans, she is poet laureate emerita of Louisiana and distinguished visiting professor of Africana Studies at Brown University.