Episode 153

Writing Life's Realities with Michelle Chikaonda Part 2


December 13th, 2022

53 mins 29 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Greeting Glocal Citizens!

As we ease into the last month of 2022, we're adding another country to our Glocal Citizens tour with a trip to Malawi. My guest this week is Malawian-American, Michelle Alipao Chikaonda. Michelle and I crossed paths in Accra at the sixth edition of the Pa Gya! Literary Festival. She is an award winning nonfiction writer, teacher and avid traveller. A graduate student at the University of East Anglia School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing studying biography and creative nonfiction, Michelle is currently based in the United Kingdom, and at the same time keeping an eye toward the next place she'll call "home."

Michelle has won the Literary Award for Narrative Nonfiction of the Tucson Festival of Books, the Stephen J. Meringoff Award for Nonfiction of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, and the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Scholarship for writers of color from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In 2015 she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by the Oracle Fine Arts Review, and in 2020 she was longlisted for the inaugural Toyin Falola Prize for emerging African writers, and was published in the prize’s anthology, “In the Sands of Time” (2022). In addition to being a 2019 resident at The Seventh Wave’s Rhinebeck Residency, she is a Voices of Our Nations [VONA] Workshop fellow, a Tin House Summer Workshop alumna, and has presented at several Association of Writing and Writing Programs [AWP] conferences.

A contributing editor for nonfiction at Electric Literature, she is also currently published at Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, Catapult, the Broad Street Review, Business Insider, and Africa is A Country, among others.

Be sure to check out Michelle's website links so you can catch up on Michelle's works across platforms.

Where to find Michelle?
On Twitter
On Facebook
On Instagram

What's Michelle reading?
The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté MD with Daniel Maté
When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Maté MD
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté MD

What's Michelle watching?
The Crown
From Scratch

Other topics of interest:
About Dedza, Malawi
About Zomba, Malawi
About the Lobolo System
Ngoni People
United World College
International Baccalaureate
Kusesa, sweeping
US Family Medical Leave Act
Song of Songs