Tope Folarin

Oluwabusayo Folarin

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan


Tope Folarin is the author of A Particular Kind of Black Man (2019). He was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013, the Whiting Award in 2021, and has won three fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He is also the recipient of fellowships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, Callaloo, and Kimbilio. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New Republic, Washington Post, the Baffler, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Vulture, among other places. He serves as executive director of the Institute for Policy Studies and the inaugural Lannan Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Georgetown University.

This fellowship means the entire world to me. It arrives at a crucial point in my trajectory as an artist, at precisely the moment when I’m trying to finish my second novel. I have long admired the National Endowment for the Arts, and I’ve long been aware of the creativity and talent of NEA Creative Writing Fellows, so I feel incredibly blessed to now be among their number. This fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to secure childcare so I will have the space and opportunity to complete my book. I also hope to travel to Nigeria and the UK to do additional research. Each time I sit to write, I will think of the generosity of the National Endowment for the Arts, the committee that selected me, and the taxpayers who made this possible.