Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele was born to a Nigerian father and a Nordic-American mother, and the PBS film My Journey Home documents her travels abroad to find her father and siblings. Her memoir about becoming the first black Buddhist nun of Thailand, Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton), received the PEN Beyond Margins Award for Best Memoir.

Other honors include the Millennium Award from Creative Nonfiction and 16 artists’ residencies, including a UNESCO International Artists Bursary to Civitella Ranieri (Italy); a Creative Nonfiction & Cultural Journalism Fellowship to Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada); Instituto Sacatar (Brazil); and Yaddo Corporation and MacDowell Colony (USA).

A popular speaker, teacher and MC, Adiele has presented at universities, churches and community centers around the world; worked as a diversity trainer and community activist; and taught memoir and travel writing in Bali, Chautauqua, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Switzerland. Her writings on travel and culture have been widely anthologized.

Named as one of Marie Claire Magazine’s “5 Women to Learn From,” Adiele has been featured on Morning Edition (NPR) with Lynn Neary; in the Huffington Post’s Black History Month celebration; in a television pilot for a reality program and an ad for a national insurance company; on The Tavis Smiley Show; and in a 2-page center spread in Pink Magazine called “A Day in the Life of Faith Adiele”.

A contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, Yes!, Essence, and Transition, Adiele is co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (The New Press). Other projects include Ghosts, a signed, limited edition chapbook with a Kenyan graphic artist; The Student Body: A Novel (Random House), a multicultural thriller co-written with 3 college classmates; and 2 middle-school readers on urban Africa (Time Warner). Most recently, her first e-book, "The Nigerian-Nordic Girl's Guide to Lady Problems," helped launch the new publisher shebooks. 

Before coming to CCA, Adiele served as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, California. She is currently finishing Twins: Growing Up Nigerian / Nordic / American, an “epic memoir” that will complete the story begun in the PBS documentary.

Her specialty courses include documentary narrative; hybrid and multimedia creative nonfiction; socially-engaged memoir; women's travel writing; and multicultural and international Young Adult literature.

Associate Professor, Writing
Associate Professor, Writing and Literature
Interim Chair, Writing and Literature

BA, Harvard University; MA, Lesley University; MFA, University of Iowa; MFA, Iowa Writers' Workshop