Quay Words are pleased to announce Olive Olusegun as our visiting international writer-in-residence in March 2024, in partnership with Poetry Africa.

Olive will be spending a week at Exeter Custom House, engaging in public events, collaborating with the spring Quay Words writer-in-residence, and exploring our season theme of heritage in relation to her research interests.

On 24th March Olive will be part of a collaborative event with Billy Kahora, Exploring Heritage. These two writers-in-residence will perform and read from their work, followed by a conversation and Q&A to discuss shared themes that have arisen during their time in residence at Exeter Custom House.

They will explore the season theme of heritage in relation to their work, the individual, and wider social and political context of their respective African ancestry. Book now (pay what you can) to attend or stream this special event.


Olive is a Nigerian, Kenyan-born South African resident. She is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses poetry, performance, art, and architecture in various mediums to story-tell and “story-reveal”. Her passion in life is to connect with people, cultures, and places through these various forms of artistic expression.

Olive has performed twice at one of Africa’s largest Poetry Festivals, Poetry Africa, and came 2nd place in the 2023 Slam Jam finals. She is also the winner of “Sign and Slam” where she performed one of her poems in South African Sign Language. Oscillating between intrapersonal experiences, embodying the stories of fellow women, and targeting larger socio-political issues through intimate narratives, Olive’s hope is to increase empathy, and awareness and reveal stories that are often hidden or easily discarded.

Olive writes:

“I am incredibly privileged and excited to be able to participate in the Quay Words Writers residency in 2024, and to collaborate with the chosen UK writer-in-residence. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share and meditate on my current work which focuses on sharing the stories of women. I look forward to reflecting on my personal multi-cultural, African heritage as well as experiencing the cultural heritage of Exeter. Thank you to Quay Words and Poetry Africa for this world-class opportunity.”  

We are working in partnership on this residency with the Poetry Africa Festival, based in Durban, a fellow UNESCO City of Literature. Poetry Africa is based at the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, it is the largest spoken word poetry festival on the African continent and is now in its 27th year.

We hope to organise opportunities for emerging writers to collaborate with and learn from Olive during March – to be among the first to hear about those, why not sign up for a free Literature Works membership?