Bilphena Yahwon, a writer bridging two worlds

Bilphena Yahwon, a writer bridging two worlds

“my professor told us to sum up our life using 6 is how I summed up mine: my story is not in English.– I will not translate it. You’re in my country now.”

Liberian-born Bilphena Yahwon, 24, wrote this poem in her book, “teaching gold-mah how to heal herself,” self-published two years ago. She has been probing her life through words since childhood. When she did something wrong, her grandfather, Dr. Edwin J. Lloyd, a clergyman and humanitarian leader in Liberia, would force young Bilphena to go to a corner and write. The oral storytelling tradition in Africa also sparked her literary imagination.

Her family fled to the Ivory Coast during Liberia’s first civil war....