Kenyan Poet and editor Ngwatilo Mawiyoo received her BA in Music from St. Lawrence University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She credits her music and theatre background for her distinctive spoken word/ performance poetry style, though she’s happiest creating work for the page.
A Callaloo Fellow, twice shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, Ngwatilo has been a Bundanon Trust Residency recipient through The Africa Centre. She is currently at work on her full-length manuscript in poetry, Witness & Dream. The collection explores the lived experience of the diverse rural Kenyan communities with whom she lived between 2012 and 2013. Ngwatilo’s poems have appeared Transition, Poetry is Dead, Obsidian, Kwani?, One Throne Magazine among other journals.
Ngwatilo works for a digital lifestyle magazine in Nairobi, following a period of time in advertising. She has also lived a previous life as an actress for TV and film.
A quick note on pronunciation:
NGWA-ti-lo sounds a bit like GUA(comole) - ti (as in Timber) - lo (as in jello). The stress on the first syllable, the ‘n’ at the back of the throat.
Yes, it means something cool. :)