Villa Aurora Grant Recipients | 2005

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Syl Cheney-Coker | Feuchtwanger Fellow

Syl Cheney Coker © Villa Aurora
Syl Cheney Coker © Villa Aurora
born in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Syl Cheney Coker studied at the Universities of Oregon and Wisconsin and worked as a journalist. Coker is renowned in Sierra Leone for his poetry and the novel The Nubians, which was awarded the African Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1991.

In the early 1970s, Cheney Coker was Head of Cultural Affairs at Radio Sierra Leone and worked as a freelance writer. He was guest professor at the University of the Philippines in 1975, and later held a teaching position at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria.

In 1988, he received a writer-in-residence” scholarship at the University of Iowa. Early 1990, Syl Cheney Coker returned to Sierra Leone, where he worked as an editor in Freetown for the progressive newspaper Vanguard. Coker went into exile after the coup by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council in 1997. Since then, he has lived in Conakry/Guinea, England, Las Vegas (Cities of Asylum Program), as a creative writing lecturer at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, as well as Feuchtwanger Fellowship from the Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades. Stone Child and Other Poems published in 2008 is his most recent publication.