The Patron-Scholar Match program for the 2020 Conference on James Baldwin is expanding access to this important gathering by arranging for registration waivers and local hosts for ten percent of attendees--40 people. As of today, 25 generous patrons have come forward with a gift of $185 to help a scholar attend the conference. To sponsor Kiprop Kimutai, follow this link
Maison Baldwin: How has James Baldwin influenced your life? When did you first read his work and what did it mean to you?
Kiprop Kimutai: Baldwin taught me to take up space. I read his book GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN in high school and saw that he captured articulately how Christianity has shaped the lives of those who live on the margin.
MB: What are your expectations for the conference? What do you hope to learn, to share, to experience?
KK: I want to learn from writers who have walked before me. Also, as a Continental African, I want to inhabit the intersections that are there between my experiences and the experiences of the African Diaspora.
MB: What would it mean personally for you to attend this gathering?
KK: I am committed to storytelling. This conference is a chance for me to learn from writers whom I deeply respect, such as Dr. Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and use those skills to tell my stories better.
Kiprop Kimutai (above with Maison Baldwin co-founder Helene Roux at the Colombe d'Or in St Paul de Vence) was among the inaugural cohort of the Maison Baldwin Writer-in-Residence Program. He is a Nairobi-based writer whose fiction has appeared in No Tokens, New Internationalist, Jalada Africa, Prufrock, Kwani? Trust, Painted Bride Quarterly and Acre Books. He has attended the Farafina, Caine Prize and Kwani Trust?/Granta writing workshops and was a Kweli Scholar. Kiprop has also been shortlisted for the Gerald Kraak Award, the Kwani? Manuscript Project and the Miles Morland Scholarship.
He edited submissions for Jalada Africa’s Translation and Language, Afro-Future and Fear anthologies and compiled poetic verse for queer Africans for the anthology Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa (Lethe Press, 2016). He has been a panelist for the Franschhoek Literary Festival and the Future Nations Schools Book Fair, both in South Africa. Kiprop was a 2019 James Baldwin Fellow and is currently working on his novel.