Bewteku Seyoum - IWP Fellow 2015-16

Bewketu Seyoum is an Ethiopian poet, novelist, and essayist.  Born in Mankusa, Ethiopia, and most recently a resident of Addis Ababa, Bewketu Seyoum is the author of four volumes of poetry, two novels, two collections of short fiction, and numerous essays written in his native language, Amharic.  Honored as Ethiopian Best Novelist of the Year in 2008 and Best Young Author in 2009, he frequently uses humor in his work to broach politically and socially taboo subjects rarely aired in the Ethiopian public sphere.  Bewketu faced increasing harassment in Ethiopia because of his work for several now-banned news organizations.  In 2012, he was attacked and severely beaten by a posse of religious fanatics because of an essay he wrote about the Ethiopian saint Abune Takla Haymanot.  

Translations of Bewketu’s writing available in English include a volume of poetry, In Search of Fat, and selections in Modern Poetry in Translation – The Big Green Issue.  His work has also appeared in English in the literary magazines Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, and World Literature.

He will be in residence at Brown University for the 2015-16 academic year.