Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer, editor, socio-cultural commentator and broadcaster. A 2007 recipient of Ghana’s national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy, he is the author of the acclaimed hybrid literary novel, Tail of the Blue Bird (Random House), which was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth prize and has since been translated into Dutch, German, Japanese and French. His book of poetry The Makings of You (Peepal Tree) includes the poem ‘Barter’, which was used in the 2013 Poems on the Underground London series.
Nii Ayikwei holds an MA in creative writing from Birkbeck (University of London) and serves on the boards of the Arvon Foundation and the Caine prize. As an editor, Nii Ayikwei was a finalist for the UK young publishing entrepreneur award in 2009 for his work as director of flipped eye publishing. He is responsible for making the house one of the most respected small presses in the UK, with several authors who have won, or been shortlisted for, major awards.
In 2011 he received a grant from the James Irvine Foundation for a series of talks in California and served on the panel of judges for the Commonwealth prize. In 2014, the French translation of Tail of the Blue Bird (Notre Quelque Part) was shortlisted for France’s Prix Mahogany.