Ben Okri

Novelist, poet and short story writer

Nigerian novelist, poet and short story writer. Winner of the 1991 Booker Prize for The Famished Road, poetry collections include An African Elegy and Wild


The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.

From ‘African Elegy’ in African Elegy (London: Vintage, 1997)


Human moment.
Making a ritual, a drama, a tear
On eternity.

From ‘Time of be real’ in Mental Fight (London: Rider, 2012)



Ben Okri
by Mark Gerson
modern bromide print, 1995
NPG x88223
© Mark Gerson / National Portrait Gallery, London