at the last moment (we would find the warmth)
tormenting tides would wane
the storms shall cease
the floods finally fade
our rainbow would spread…
however sleep fared
life’s dream would kiss you
as the rays bless more
wake to stimulating smiles
come to the hearth then
the ghost would have found fires
and the spirit would’ve warmed our homes
no holes then dear, we would have a long lasting laugh. amen.
(From Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile – Joint Winner Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize 2014)
No matter where you are, hang on to hope, smile. In our deepest despair, the bleakest night, there come’s a light to repair it all and make it worth the wait. Have faith. Merry Christmas guys- and lovely ladies. SVA
Ake Review, the official magazine of the Ake Festival which is one of Africa’s biggest literary festivals has made a call for submission for its 2019 edition and the deadline is in six days time (8th July 2019)! Oh, sorry, that is actually five days time! Ahhhhh!
I should mention that I had my poem submitted in the last edition and was pleasantly surprised when Bright Nwachukwu – a brother I made at the Benue Book and Arts Festival #BBAAF I curated – showed me the print copy of Ake Review 2018 that had not just my poem but a French translation beside it! Wawu!
The theme for this year’s festival and 7th Ake edition is: Black Bodies, Grey Matter. So, what does that mean? Ake needs creative works that interrogate the link between the mental and the physical, and explore specific phenomena such as scarification, body image, tattoos, stereotyping, gender nonconformity, colourism, and issues around mental health within an African context. Easy, right?
A total of 370 poems, 110 short stories, eleven creative non-fiction pieces and one poem for the secondary school category were entered for the SEVHAGE Literary Prizes 2019 competition. The judges had to take more time to ensure that they selected only the best in the different categories. Because only one entry was entered for the students category of the SEVHAGE/Angya Poetry Prize, it has regretfully been suspended for this year. An on-the-spot poetry competition for secondary school students will take place on Saturday 22nd June, 2019 at the J. S. Tarka Foundation by 9am.
Below are two comments from the poetry judges:
There was an electric response to our call for submission for the BBAF-organized poetry prize, containing poems that are an archive of joy, memory and resilience of the human spirit and endeavour. We were genuinely shocked by the possibilities of power, risk and surprise in the shortlisted…
As part of our Benue Book and Arts Festival in Makurdi on June 20 to 22, 2019:
THREE WORKSHOPS – And you can apply for any or ALL of them!
1. If you are interested in any of the writing workshops (Fiction with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim; Spoken Word with Efe Paul Azino; Poetry with Chuma Nwokolo), kindly send us an email saying why you would want to attend the workshop and then a sample of your work (a piece of fiction not more than 2,000 words for the fiction workshop; a poem that is not longer than 40 lines for poetry; and an audio recording or video for the spoken word workshop) to email@example.com. Kindly ensure you have the subject written as ‘Interest for [Genre] Workshop.’ Don’t forget to include your name, your address and phone number. Those selected for the workshops will have to pay N2,000 for the workshop.
The Benue Book and Arts festival (presented by SEVHAGE) is scheduled to take place in Makurdi the capital city of Benue State in Nigeria from 20th to 22nd June, 2019. It is being organised by SEVHAGE Literary & Development Initiative and SEVHAGE Publishers as part of the SEVHAGE Presents series of festivals. Featured writers include Professor Dul Johnson (Winner, ANA Prize for Fiction 2017), Dr. Maria Ajima (multiple award winning writer and critic, leading voice in Northern Nigerian literature), Agatha Agema (nee Aduro) (author of The Enchanting and other poems); sensational writer and prolific author, Chuma Nwokolo, Innocence Silas Sharamang (Double Winner of the Korea Nigeria Poetry Prize), Servio Gbadamosi (ANA Prize for Poetry 2015 and Shortlist, Wole Soyinka Prize 2018); the literary administrator and author of City of Memories,Richard Ali; short story writer and social media influencer Eketti Edime, Bizuum Yadok; T. J. Benson (award winning author of We won’t fade into darkness); spoken word maestro Bash Amuneni; spoken word diva and amazing poet, Daisy Odey; Maik Ortserga; Jide Badmus (author of Scriptures), Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (multiple award winning poet), Seun Odukoya, Ahmed Maiwada (award winning poet), Isaac Attah Ogezi (award winning playwright), Mimi Werna, Aondosoo Labe, Debbie Iorliam, Oko Owi Ocho; Torkwase Igbana; Odoh Diego Okenyodo; amongst several others.
The discourse of development is complex but often seen from the point of view of a messiah coming in to save a people. Many times, the people who should own projects are neglected. But is development really about help? Is it about handouts? Is out about painting people as needy while showing others as benevolent angels? Again, is development a function of organisations, a society or of individuals?
These formed the crux of the event ‘Development as Dignity: A Conversation with Dapo Oyewole’ which was the theme for the African Writers Development Cafe organised by the African Writers [Society] of the University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom.
The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has called for entries in six categories of its 2019 literary prizes. The prizes include ANA Prize for Poetry, ANA Prize for Prose Fiction and ANA Prize for Drama, worth N100,000, for published and unpublished works. The other prizes are ANA Prize for Children’s Literature (7 to 13 years age range) for Published works only, worth N100, 0000; ANA/Abubakar Gimba Prize for Fiction for published short stories collection worth N200, 000 and ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Criticism with focus on criticism of emergent Nigerian Literature worth N100,000.
The award is open to Nigerian writers, home and abroad. Works entered should have been published between 2018 and 2019. An entry fee of N3,000 is required for all the prizes.
Deadline is May 31, 2019. A shortlist will be announced in September, 2019 and winners of the prizes will be announced by the judges at the Awards Dinner during the 38th International Annual Convention of ANA in October, 2019.
On Sunday, March 10, 2019, Pius Adebola Adesanmi, writer, scholar, educator, and public intellectual, was killed along with 156 others from 35 countries in the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed close to Addis Ababa airport shortly after take-off. Prior to his death, Payo (as he was fondly called by many) was the Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. His tragic demise at the age of 47 has left people in the communities where he conducted his professional work and social activism reeling with pains. The tragic nature of his death invites us to reflect on his life and times, as well as to philosophize on the immortal lines of the English poet, John Donne, in his “Meditation XVII”: “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated… As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all… No man is an island, entire of itself… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”