Riua Akinshegun is a literary, performing, and visual artist whose spine was injured by a gunshot, leaving her with paraplegia. She chose to actively transcend her pain, channeling it to create her art: batiks, ceramic sculptures, African wrap dolls, and an interactive installation on the Middle Passage. She has also conducted workshops on art as a healing process. Akinshegun began writing under the tutelage of Victoria Lewis at the Mark Taper Forum's Other Voices program and later with writer/editor S. Pearl Sharp. She has lived and worked in Ile Ife, Nigeria; Georgetown, Guyana; Paramaribo, Suriname; La Mision, Mexico; and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is completing her lively autobiography, The People I Could Have Been.