2007 Award Recipient: LILY MABURA


BLUFF, UT – The Ellen Meloy Fund announces that Lily Mabura, currently of Columbia, Missouri, will receive the second annual Desert Writers Award. Ms. Mabura will receive a grant of $1,000 to support her project, Beyond Archer’s Post. She plans to travel to the Chalbi Desert and Lake Turkana in the North Eastern Province of Kenya, a region known locally as "World’s End," to write about the region’s nomadic ethnic groups and arid landscapes.

“Lily Mabura, the writer selected to receive the 2007 Desert Writer’s Award, writes with precision and clarity, imagination and a deep particularity. Her intention to explore the remote and dangerous desert lands of Kenya and her talents as a writer make Lily an excellent choice for this award,” says Greer Chesher, chair of the awards committee.

Mabura describes her project, Beyond Archer’s Post:

It is difficult to travel to this region of Kenya due to extreme terrain and banditry or militia incursions from Ethiopia and Sudan. One must wait for armed convoys for escort… Like most Kenyans, I am petrified by the region, but there is the writer in me who really wants to see it and, gradually, my curiosity has eclipsed my fears, even though I suspect my real test is yet to come. I am hoping that my experience and the stories that emerge from it will enlighten others about this region, which deserves more attention in terms of humanitarian aid, education, security, environmental conservation and infrastructure.

Lily Mabura’s short stories have appeared in literary journals like PRISM International and have been hosted on websites including the International Museum for Women and G21, The World’s Magazine. Other publications include a first novel, The Pretoria Conspiracy (2000), and three children’s books. She won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and Kenya’s National Book Week Literary Award. She has received International Fellowships from AAUW and PEO.