Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Bayo Sonny Olayinka Ojikutu  

Pen Name: Bayo Ojikutu

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1971 in Chicago


-- Facebook -- http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=1307852968=bayo+ojikuta
-- Website -- http://www.ojikututurnsthepage.com
-- Bayo Sonny Olayinka Ojikutu on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=bayo+sonny+olayinka+ojikutu

E-Mail: -- b.ojikutu@att.net


Illinois Connection

Born in Chicago, resided within the city limits for the balance of my life thus far (1971-81; 1997- ); yet I spent junior high-high school years in Glenwood (1981-88). While a college student, my family lived in Country Club Hills (1988-89; 1991-93; 1995-97). My own campus years were spent at the University of Urbana-Champaign in Champaign (1989-91; 1993-95).

Biographical and Professional Information

As noted above, I am a product of Chicago and its south suburbs. My father is a Nigerian medical doctor who immigrated to the US during the late-1960's; my mother is a second generation product of the Great Migration (her grandmother & much of her maternal family came to Chicago in 1921 with my mother's mother, who was but a swaddling amidst the journey) of northbound Black-Americans. I have been writing fiction since I was 12 years-old. I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned my Bachelor's degree there in 1995. I then returned to my parents' basement in Country Club Hills, where I penned the draft of my first novel, 47th Street Black, over the first six months of postgraduate life. Crown/Three Rivers Press published 47th Street Black eight years later, followed by Free Burning in 2006. I have taught creative writing, literature and film, and in the liberal studies department at DePaul University (2003- ), along with novel workshops at the University of Chicago (2005) & with the University of Chicago's Graham School of Continuing Studies, (2007- ). My short prose work has appeared in various venues. In 2008-09, my short story, "Yayi and Those Who Walk on Water" earned Special Mention designation (Fiction) from the national Pushcart Prize.


Selected Titles At Your Library

47th Street Black :
ISBN: 0609808478. OCLC Number:

Three Rivers Press,. New York :. ©2003.

After stumbling upon the body of their Chicago neighborhood's black liaison to the mafia, JC and Mookie, two high school dropouts, exchange their dead-end existence for jobs with Salvie, the local mob boss.

Chicago noir /
ISBN: 1888451890. OCLC Number:

Akashic Books,. New York :. ©2005.

Free burning :
ISBN: 1400082897. OCLC Number:

Three Rivers Press,. New York :. ©2006.

When Tommie Simms loses his corporate job, he gets caught up in Chicago's treacherous underworld--the last fate anyone ever intended for him.


Awards

47th Street Black

  • Washington Prize for Fiction
  • Great American Award
  • Free Burning

  • Outstanding Achievement in Literature-Fiction, Black Excellence Award

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    If interest exists in my participation in readings/panel discussions/speaking engagement, the hosting entity may contact my agent, Katherine Boyle, at 650-234-9971, or reach me directly at (312)

    343-6076. Although my work wrestles with matters most pertinent to urban/civic settings, I am surely excited to engage varied audiences. Colleges/Universities, Bookstores, Libraries, Arts Guilds, some Community Centers, & Cultural Organizations are most apt (& preferred)

    settings for the treatment of my work. Metro Chicago speaking/reading engagements $125-$1,000 Travel-related speaking engagements $350-$1,000+