An Interview with Lesley Nneka Arimah

An Interview with Lesley Nneka Arimah

Introducing Lesley Nneka Arimah,
the judge of our second
Paper Darts Micro-Fiction Award.


Lesley Nneka Arimah is a Nigerian writer living in Minneapolis. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, GRANTA, and other publications. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, her debut collection of stories, was published in April by Riverhead Books. 

Q: What is your current obsession? (That is, what are you reading? Or what are you playing? What are you watching? What are you listening to on repeat?)


I am a cliché in that I have the Hamilton cast album on near-constant repeat. It has become comfort food. I’m also watching a lot of Steven Universe.

Q: What are your biggest pet peeves you find in other peoples’ writing?


Throat-clearing—that is, when the writer hedges their bets and wastes too much time setting up the premise because they don’t trust the reader’s interest/intelligence/what have you. Just make it good and the reader will follow you wherever you take them.

Q: Describe your home:


A two-bedroom apartment on a quiet street where one bedroom is supposed to be my office, but has morphed into a craft/storage/second closet/guest room. I write in bed.

Prized furniture: two salvaged church pews.

Q: What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?


I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone who follows me on Twitter, but I have handful of romance novels nestled in between poetry collections and National Book Award winners.

Q: What is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?


Deadlines with consequences.

Q: What is your most reliable antidote to negative thoughts?


Reading (she said, unoriginally).
I can get lost in another world for a while.


Find Lesley at or on Twitter @larimah.

Learn more about the Paper Darts Micro-Fiction Contest

Paper Darts 2nd Micro Fiction Award: Judged by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Paper Darts 2nd Micro Fiction Award: Judged by Lesley Nneka Arimah

MASTERWORKS: The Raft of the Medusa

MASTERWORKS: The Raft of the Medusa