Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene

Bay Area Fellowship, 2021 - 2023

Person in front of textured background.


Patience is a huge part of Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene’s artistic practice. Etaghene says: “Editing is an artform unto itself–what you say is just as important as what you don’t say. Especially before sharing work publicly, I will revisit my work and move things around, remove things if need be, until the right fit sings and flows into place.”

Yvonne Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw Urhobo Nigerian dyke poet, performer, educator, fashion designer, visual artist, and playwright. Etaghene is the author of For Sizakele, a novel that addresses African lesbian/bisexual identity, love, intimate partner violence, and gender. Etaghene was the Poet-in-Residence at University of California, Berkeley’s Poetry for the People Program in 2019, and has performed in Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Britain, and the United States. Etaghene earned a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from New York University and an MFA from Antioch University.


Selected Writing

verses & paragraphs, 2013-20. Poems and short stories.

For Sizakele, 2015. Fiction; 251 pages; published by Redbone Press.

Bruised Things, 2020. Fiction; published by Gumbo Magazine, Issue 001.

Selected Performance Excerpts


Excerpts from RE:Liberation, Nigerian Dyke Realness Podcast, and full body crown, 2016–21. Performance and podcast excerpts.


Excerpt from YANGA GODDESS, 2021. Multimedia performance; commissioned by the Queer Cultural Center.