Was born in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta state, Nigeria to a Tiv father from Ukan in Ushongo local government area of Benue state and to an Igbo mother from Asaba, in Delta state.
As an undergraduate at Nsukka, she edited the English department literary journal—The Muse and received the awards of the best Creative Writing student for two consecutives years: 1992 and 1993. Her other awards include the Hellman/Hammett award, the Urban Spectrum award,the Leonard Trawick award and the Association of Nigerian Authors/NDDC Flora Nwapa award for her debut novel Sky-high Flames.
Her collection of short stories,”The Length of Light,” reflects the predicament of everyday choices in life. The enigmatic gap between ordinary people and their dreams is dramatized in scenes that reveal severed roots, patriarchal intrusions, socio-economic impositions, inhuman cultural values, and hostility. Yet the redeeming qualities of each character give hope and faith as they hold on to their insurmountable will to survive. In their diverse themes and tenors, the narratives demonstrate a critical examination of a world in which most people, against their wishes, are chosen by the paths they follow. For instance, Soka, in the story Idu, is on the other hand, haunted by a cultural belief she dismisses: she encounters the very mythical story she rebuffs, and in the process, history becomes her story.
Unoma has conducted writing workshops and seminars in some major cities in Nigeria and the US. For instance, she has conducted writing workshops for incarcerated mothers and women in prison as a way of creating outlets for their expressions. Part of her focus in such workshops is to assist women in channeling their energy into literary expressions as a way of freeing their spirits in spite of their physical imprisonment.
She is also involved with “The Griot Collective,” a poetry group that organizes workshops and readings for adults and high school students in the West Tennessee area. Her contributions to this group earned her the “Griot Hero” award in 2006. In the same year, she received “The Best Faculty,” award at Lane College for her outstanding teaching, research and service to the College community.
One of Unoma’s projects has been to explore the political disillusionment suffered by Africans due to corrupt government and their subsequent urge to migrate to the west even when they face alienation and homesickness. These themes are the focus of a poetry anthology called “On Broken Wings,” which she recently edited. Some of her affiliations include the International Resource Network (IRN Africa), a research and network group that focus on sexuality issues in Africa of which she is a board member; co-editor: Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology; co-editor “Outliers” a creative writing and scholarly journal about sexual minority issues in Africa; and Poetry editor of Sentinelnigeria.org. She is also the faculty sponsor of the Delta Sigma Tau: English Honors Society at Lane College.