When Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka visited the Hay Cartagena festival in Colombia earlier this year, in a walled Spanish colonial town on the Caribbean coast, children in the streets instantly thought they recognised the black man with leonine grey hair. But they couldn't decide whether he was Kofi Annan or Don King.
As Athenians sweated to finish the Olympic stadiums, an Orthodox priest on the island of Paros, about three hours away, was intoning over a modest dwelling that may yet crown Greece's cultural Olympiad. He was inaugurating the country's first House of Literature.
The first black woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison's new novel, <i>Love</i>, explores the changes wrought by the American civil-rights movement and continues her engagement with love and history. Maya Jaggi reports.
A cultural icon for black artists since the 1970s, Linton Kwesi Johnson is known as a performer and recording artist as much as a writer, for poetry that blends the bass and rhythm of reggae music with his deep spoken voice. "It's words that I'm about," he says.