Itoro Ufodia

As a first generation Nigerian woman, writing has been my outlet to express both the hard and beautiful things in my life. I was raised in a predominantly white blue collar town in rural Massachusetts, so in many ways I consider myself of those Black people growing up in a forest who was itching to move to a place like New York or Oakland, CA (where I ended up living for seven years). As a child, I experienced marginalization in many arenas. It was impossible to have a sense of pride in who I truly was. 

At school, I had to prove that a Black girl could be intelligent and of value to her peers and teachers. At home, I had to prove that children, especially girls, did not have to constantly submit to silence and familial duty. Having imagination and a perspective beyond my circumstances has been my saving grace. It has also been a source of tension in my writing, as the characters I write are often female protagonists that must reconcile their ancestral and familial history to move forward. 

My love of literature and finding stories of everyday people faced with insurmountable challenges gives my writing a social justice lens. When I write, I write with many people and communities in mind. I believe these different experiences I’ve gathered will be a unique contribution to your fellowship because I consider myself an interdisciplinary artist who is devoted to the written word. I think it’s essential to use one’s whole self when writing.

I'm also a podcaster, playwright, editor, healer, avid meditator and lover of all things vegan dessert...just to name a few. I hope you check out my page and find something that resonates with you.

Upcoming projects: 

Unapologetically Black- A play series following the life of a Black woman who is both resilient and exhausted with her life in America and needs a change. The play focuses on Black resilience (and exhaustion), antiracism, and allyship. 

The Soil Below- a short story collection about three generations of Nigerian women grappling with generational trauma, spirituality, mental health and ancestry.  

The Return- a podcast about returning to one's ancestral homeland and all the ways in which one returns to themselves spiritually and physically. This podcast prioritizes the experiences and feelings of those within the African Diaspora.     

AisiYu- A publication for Afro-Diasporic People wanting to relate and commiserate. This project is in collaboration with the U.S. based organization Afro Urban Society. More information on this project coming soon. 

Author Photo: Me holding chin-chin, which is basically Nigerian fried dough balls. This was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid growing up in Massachusetts.