Have You Met… Ifeoma Chinwuba?

Meet Ifeoma, the U of A’s 2021-22 Writer-in-Residence.


The University of Alberta’s Writer-in-Residence program brings in acclaimed writers from across the country to offer mentorship and consultation to staff and students while pursuing their own writing projects. The 2021-2022 Writer-in-Residence is Ifeoma Chinwuba, a foreign diplomat turned poet and novelist. Spend a few minutes getting to know her a little better.

What is your first U of A memory?

I am on the number 8 bus, approaching the University of Alberta from Whyte Avenue, on Sept. 1, 2021.

What is something your coworkers do not know about you?

What many people do not know is that I was a child refugee in the Biafra War.

What is your favorite distraction?


If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?


What is a weird habit you have?

I take different ETS buses to their terminals and back, just to get to know this burgeoning city.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

Jesus Christ. He is alive and real.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

Ola Rotimi's play, The Gods are Not to Blame, or Mozart’s The Magic Flute or Don Giovanni operas.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

You can boil a stone until it liquefies if you have patience.

What is one thing you cannot live without?

I can't live without the Eucharist.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Got your back. Got you covered.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time as Writer-in-Residence?

Make friends and pitch the tent poles for my Canadiana novel.

About Ifeoma

Ifeoma Chinwuba is a Nigerian born poet and novelist and now the University of Alberta’s Writer-in-Residence. Before becoming a full-time writer, Ifeoma pursued a career in diplomacy, which culminated in her appointment as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire (2014-2017). Throughout her foreign service career, she visited sixty countries and in her spare time, penned three novels: Merchants of Flesh, Fearless and Waiting for Maria. She has also written a novella, Be Head Boy, and a book of poetry in dialogue, African Romance.