Faith Adiele is an award-winning writer and professor originally from Eastern Washington, who speaks, teaches, performs, and mentors around the globe. The daughter of a Nigerian freedom fighter and a Nordic-American student, she was born in a Home for Unwed Mothers in Spokane, Washington and raised on her white grandparents’ farm in the Yakima Valley.
Ms. Adiele’s two memoirs are The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems and Meeting Faith: The Thai Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, an account of ordaining as Thailand’s first Black Buddhist nun that won the PEN Open Book Award. Her media credits include two episodes of recent HBO-Max series A World of Calm, Sleep Stories for the Calm app and the PBS documentary My Journey Home, about finding her father and siblings in Nigeria.
Educated at Harvard University, the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Ms. Adiele is co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. Her essays on travel, family, mixed identity, race, and culture appear in such periodicals as O: The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Transition, The Rumpus, and Huffington Post, and have been widely anthologized in Best Women’s Travel Writing and elsewhere.
Named one of Marie Claire magazine’s “Women to Learn From” Ms. Adiele is Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction at California College of the Arts and core faculty at Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program and VONA Workshops for Writers of Color. She has taught at Esalen, NY Open Center, Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, and around the world.
She lives with her husband in the Bay Area, where she is co-host/co-founder of African Book Club at San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora; BIPOC Writing Party, a weekly response to the pandemic; and Traveling while BIPOC, the nation’s first writing workshop for traveler’s of color. Ms. Adiele will lead this year’s workshop from the Surel’s Place residency: “I love the idea of leading a travel writing workshop from a city that’s simultaneously new to me and in my home region!”
HOW TO WRITE MEMOIR AND STILL GET INVITED TO THANKSGIVING
Saturday, July 10th | 2:00 – 5:00pm
Have you been wanting to turn your personal experiences into memoir? Document this historic moment in personal essay? Tell the story of your family or community? With her signature irreverent wit, popular teacher and memoirist Faith Adiele will lead you through the key elements of effective memoir.
SURVIVAL STORIES: FROM THE YAKIMA VALLEY TO A FINNISH SAUNA TO WAKANDA: A MULTIMEDIA READING BY FAITH ADIELE
Monday, July 26th | 7:00pm MDT
Writer-in-Residence Ms. Adiele will focus her residency on completing a collection of essays around the theme of surviving the pandemic as a multiracial Black woman married to an African immigrant in Oakland, California, the birthplace of the Black Panthers and site of intense gentrification and Black Lives Matter protests. The essays, many of which have been published, center such themes as cross-cultural marriage, race and gender, health, animal encounters, and travel, including walking the Camino and reuniting with family in a Finnish sauna. The inventive structure ranges from prose poems and quizzes to PowerPoint slides and letters, unified by Ms. Adiele’s unique perspective, irreverent humor and signature blend of the personal with the political. The reading will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to type questions into the Facebook Live chat for a response from Ms. Adiele.