Olumide Popoola

One of Jackie Kay’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“Her elegant and lyrical prose is instantly engaging. She is fascinated with the spaces in between culture and form, and she is adept at moving between Nigeria, Germany and the UK.”

Jackie Kay


Feminist exploring innovative writing and accessibility, committed to voice(s) and representation

Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola writes essays, poetry, short and long fiction, has published a play and recorded spoken word in collaboration with musicians. Olumide holds a PhD in Creative Writing and has lectured at various universities. In 2018 she curated Berlin’s inaugural international African Book Festival, Writing in Migration. She created and leads the Arts Council funded mentorship scheme for emerging LGBTQ+ writers, ‘The Future is Back.’

Her critically acclaimed novel When We Speak of Nothing was published by Cassava Republic Press in 2017, which has been translated to Danish and French.

Watch Olumide at a recent short story event

‘flamboyant and moving debut novel’ – Diana Evans, Financial Times

When We Speak of Nothing is a linguistically inventive and deliciously original’ – Bernardine Evaristo, Guardian

‘Revels in the joy of expression’ – Kwanele Sosibo, Mail and Guardian (South Africa)

‘A victorious coming-of-age novel. …Pópóọlá is unperturbed by the precepts that govern conformity in writing. Her prose is bold and brave, and her sincerity is evident…’ – Outlwile Tsipane, Johannesburg Review of Books

When We Speak of Nothing is an ode to queer black life’ – Ainehi Edoro, Brittle Paper

I am honoured and look forward to making new connections.



Sit Down (short story for Stimmen Afrikas translation project)

‘Bodies of Experience: tales across the spectrum’ (co-authored with Logan February) and ‘Contractions’ both creative-nonfiction/ literary essays commissioned for Un_Masking Difference (mikrotext), edited by Natasha A. Kelly

‘You can’t breathe water’ (creative non-fiction) commissioned for Writers Mosaic.

When We Speak of Nothing (novel), Cassava Republic Press 2017 UK and Nigeria, US 2018

breach (short story collection), Peirene Press, co-authored with Annie Holmes, 2016, based on interviews with refugees in Calais

Also by mail (play script), edition assemblage 2013

this is not about sadness (novella), Unrast Verlag 2010

Contact Olumide


Twitter: @msolumide


Emma Shercliff, Laxfield Literary Associates


Cassava Republic Press: Lynette Lisk


Main image (c) Naomi Woddis