Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, EVENTS

ATTEND AWF’S ABUJA LITERARY FESTIVAL 2018 (JUNE 28-30 2018) AT NICON LUXURY HOTEL ABUJA

Abuja comes alive with the Abuja Writers Forum’s Abuja Literary Festival scheduled for June 28-30 2018 at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja. Themed ‘Telling Our Stories in the 21st Century’, the festival will feature book chats, exhibitions, film shows, performances, master classes and other literary events to spice up the artmosphere.

This is the second edition of the festival which premiered in November 2008 and will boast an array of amazing creatives like SEVHAGE’s very own Professor Dul Johnson (yaaaaay!), Professor Zaynab Alkali, Professor Idris Amali, superstar director Ishaya Bako, the talented Carlton Lindsay Barrett (who is also the father of A. Igoni Barrett), ANA Legal Adviser and multiple award winning dramatist Isaac Attah Ogezi, my person Theresa Ameh (aka Auntie Talatu), the beautifully talented Sifa Asani Gowon, novel pro/legal star Edify Yakusak, the illustrator Mustapha Bulama, of course Dr. Emman Shehu (AWF President), Mike Ekunno…to mention a few. Okay, to mention a few others that I know: Domitila Sa’adatu Modesti, Dr. Al-Bishak, Dr. Onyebuchi James Ile, Blossom Ozurumba, the poetic trio of Olumide Olaniyan, Amina Aboje, Sodiq Alabi, Chido Onumah, Jamaine Abidogun, Ibrahim Sheme (famed journalist), Wole Coker (ED Programmes of NTA).

I will probably be moderating one of the sessions. You would want to catch me there. 🙂
Continue reading “ATTEND AWF’S ABUJA LITERARY FESTIVAL 2018 (JUNE 28-30 2018) AT NICON LUXURY HOTEL ABUJA”

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Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS

Facebook Poems and Blogs are Rubbish but also pads!

Well, poetry speaks to us in many ways and comes to us in different ways. It is that place where there are many of us rushing in, especially with this whole advent of the social media. Now, while a lot of people have argued and bashed people who write so-called bad poetry on their blogs and spaces like Facebook, I’ve told these ‘critics’ to cool down. We are simply moving with the times. No writer should be judged for such posts. The only time when such a person should be judged is when the poem has been put into a book. So to say, when the poet has declared it final.

Why?

Continue reading “Facebook Poems and Blogs are Rubbish but also pads!”

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS, RAMBLES, REVIEWS

HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN WRITER by Elnathan John

You know the value of books. The process of making them intrigues you. You want your name on the front cover of a book and, like an earthworm inches through dirt into the ground, you want to make your way into people’s homes, heads and hearts. I am here to help you achieve that.

 

First, you must look the part. It is important to look like an African writer. Find multi-coloured kampala fabric and use it to sew shirts which you’ll wear to all writers’ events. Or an old t-shirt. You shouldn’t look like a model or banker. Your precious time is spent thinking of plot and theme and words, not on dress and grooming. Your hair needs to be unkempt. However, nothing says authentic-tortured-African-writer like dreadlocks. Please, note that in Nigeria there is a difference between dreadlocks and ‘dada’. Dada is less refined, naturally matted coils of hair due to superstitious neglect. Dada is uncool. Dreadlocks are deliberate. They are cool. They make you look wildly creative. If someone asks; no, you are not a Rastafarian. You are an African writer.

As a writer, you must flaunt your vices. You need to show that you are a flawed character. If you drink, drink too much. If you smoke, do it at inappropriate times. Show up at an event reeking of booze. People will understand. Vices are a tool of the trade.

Now, you have the basic tools: a multi-coloured kampala shirt, cool dreadlocks, and vices. You must set about the business of writing.

You do not need to read a lot to be a Nigerian writer. In fact, as a Nigerian writer you can make shameless statements like “I don’t really read much”, in public. All you need is a burning desire to write. It is sufficient to have read Shakespeare and Achebe, and maybe a little of Chimamanda Adichie for contemporary reading. The only thing you need to really study is a dictionary or thesaurus.

Please, note that all Nigerian characters are Africans who act the same: children are respectful of elders; parents are always responsible, wise individuals teaching children valuable lessons of life. Characters do not use cuss words or talk about sex, even when in the company of peers. Nobody’s mother smokes and we have no homosexuals in Nigeria.

Use big words instead of small words; ‘Discombobulate’ instead of ‘confuse’. How can you write like a layman when you are an African writer? It doesn’t matter how many people read or understand you. What matters is that you impress those who do.

Use many words. It is always better to err on the side of verbosity than to err on the side of brevity.

Protect your work fiercely and always insist that people give you constructive criticism. Anyone who points out, rightly or otherwise, that your writing isn’t quite there yet, is evil and an enemy of your hustle. You must believe that there is nothing like bad writing. After all, you were inspired by the spirits before you began writing – what do critics know?

Do not waste your time or money on editors. Editors are failed writers whose life ambition is to frustrate the hustle of real writers like you. Show your friends your work. But only the ones who are not jealous of your hustle, and who remind you that your writing is the best thing since point-and-kill. Find some popular person from your village who will write you a foreword without actually reading your book. Then, go to press.

Go to Ibadan or Lagos. Find a cheap printer who can print 1,000 copies without ink smearing on the pages coming out lopsided. Arrange for a transporter to bring your book home.

A book is not complete without a book launch. In Nigeria, a book launch is a fund-raising ceremony. It is not important to have writers at this event. Well, maybe the book reviewer. You need your state governor (who may not come but will send a representative with a cheque or a pledge); your Local Government chairman; your Pastor or Imam to bless the event; and any minister, senator or rich person that you know. It is important to find a Chief Launcher who will encourage others to donate to your hustle. Do not leave it to chance or the discretion of the Chief Launcher, unless you are sure of his capabilities. In Nigeria, nobody is allowed to embarrass the Chief Launcher by giving more money. So, if you can, gently hint that you know he will set the bar high for others to follow. That is the job of the Chief Launcher – setting the bar as high as possible.

You do not need a marketer, publicist or publisher. These people eat into your profit margin. If you have a car, carry a few hundred copies in the trunk at all times. Be your own marketer. Steer conversation toward your book and tell them you have written this really cool book. Someone will ask for it and you will tell them to hold on for a minute while you get it from your car. If you don’t have a car, have a big bag that can carry at least 10 copies. Do not be ashamed to carry your books to public gatherings. Book by book, God blessing your hustle, you may end up selling off the 1,000 copies your printer produced, and maybe even go for a reprint.

Get an award. It doesn’t matter what. It may be from your church bulletin which you have been writing for since you were in secondary school or your old boy’s association newsletter. You can even have friends get together to organise and award you the ‘Roforofo Prize for African Fiction’. Then, you can have on your book, ‘Award Winning Author’. No need to state what award it is. An award-winning writer is a good writer.

It is my hope that you make it as a writer and have many successful books in the market. And with well organised book launchings, you can be sure that God will bless your hustle.

 

 

ElNathan John is a satirist and award winning author of the novel, Born on a Tuesday. He blogs at http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/ … Follow his tweets at @elnathan

el jo

He is the creator of the Nigerian ‘How to series…’ Google it! You might also want to check:

How to worship the Nigerian God

Damn You – Letter to Nigerian Literature and all involved

How to show Nigerian love

http://dailytimes.com.ng/opinion/how-be-nigerian-mechanic

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, INSPIRATION

RAMBLINGS ON THE WRITER’S DEPTH

There is something about the depth of the artiste – it is only gotten by going into the heart of this one. Several years ago, I would marvel at the profoundness of the works of lots of literary maestros. The depth of their creative springs and reaches left me bedazzled. I started writing, churning out tales easily with poetry and the seeming ‘myth’ of the work put into writing lost its hold on me: these were simply creative works thrown out. Unnecessary attention was usually given them – I thought. I read some critiques to show the pretensions of people’s works. But then, I got to change yet again as I became more of a writer by reading and growing values that I would hold on to.

Writing, which was overtly easy to me, became harder. Each word became important – what message is this giving? Does it speak what I want? Does it tell what I represent? Many thoughts died with words stifled out till at some point, it became somewhat more possible (but not easier) to churn out words. Poems and other write-ups took longer time and more edits. My being went into the process.

writer-with-head-in-hand
Source: Here

Where is this leading to?

IT brought me to realize that the depths I had seen in works several years ago were, in many cases, for real. I do not doubt that certain writers simply write without thinking. I do not doubt that several writers don’t write what they preach. Yet I know a whole lot do. It is these ones that make the reading worth the while, most of the times. The ones that make the name ‘writer’ worth wearing with pride. I should add: I also know there are certain writers who just write for the heck of it but I guess you have an idea of those I am talking about. Maybe I am even talking to you now.

There’s no art to finding the mind’s construction in the face rings true in this case too. You have to read the work and in some cases, know the writer deeply to know if both tally: You make your analysis of a work and if you know the author well you can tell if it is a reflection of his/her thoughts or simply a blessing of some muse on a(n) (un)deserving ass (pun intended).words1-220x220

I do not doubt the humanity of the writer. I believe it greatly and know they are more human than many with their foibles, mistakes and all. Now, does it matter that almost everyone on the road or in their room for that matter claims to be a writer? I don’t really think so. What separates (the) writer(s) is the depth of thought that (s)he has come to garner and yes, experience too. It comes from the study of several ones – in books read. The experience in a rich life lived, no matter how such. It’s the varying experience carried. A writer who hasn’t read is not really a writer worth much salt. A writer who hasn’t lived really, hasn’t lived.
(Yes, yes, importantly, there’s skill too and the unseen magic wand – hand? – of the editor)

I have studied several works and had the pleasure of meeting, interacting and enjoying the unique grace of the friendships of many writers. The true writer still exists and I have seen him and her severally. I get to discover that what I thought of some of their work was far less than what lay therein. They – most writers – are far deeper. It has been very humbling but worth it all. To know these people who are peculiar yet similar in many lights. These ones who would many times just want to be alone to access the recesses of their innermost beings or others who would just want to go out and get it. These ones who look at a bland wall and discover lines to leave others amazed.

All this has made sense why some artistes would risk it all for their craft. It makes sense why a lot of them see that there’s a lot they can offer in words and actions. It’s in the definition of that depth that has become them from all they have drunk of and become – of the words of others, of the life they have lived.

For every true writer, there’s a depth…

Phoneys, have fun. Children, enjoy. Writers, live on.

 

 

(Reblogged from…years ago.)

 

Happy February everyone. May each day smile for you.

Cheers!

 

Thought for the day:

Writing
Source: Here 
Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, Uncategorized

SPARKING THE LITEROSPHERE WITH SEVHAGE (WHERE WE HAVE BEEN)

Sometimes finding titles to these posts can be a challenge… However, getting titles to publish hasn’t been so much of an issue. We have had a healthy number come in. So, where have we been?

It has been a very busy season for me and all of us at SEVHAGE. We made a call for volunteers last year due to all the work we have and also a desire to spread the literary net at SEVHAGE Reviews. We got a good number of entries – and we wouldn’t mind getting a few more. We are sorting things out and would soon be reaching out to all those who applied so that we can start work in earnest. Our Head of Reviews, the poet, Innocence Silas has been up to task. You can check our ABOUT page and see if you want to catch up with us.

stork-cover-final-copyBut other than that, we have had a rich season working with some amazing writers and getting their books ready for press. A few weeks back, we received copies of Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi’s One day I will dare to raise my middle finger at the stork and the reaper. First publication was in 2015 and it is amazing to know that we have had to get the full works in print again. The book, Ekwuazi’s fifth book of poetry is a lovely collection of narrative poem that border on the beauty of life and is a blend of verse that would make any reader smile. I wrote the Afterword and I think that it is the sort of book that you would want to read, for any season.

We are also working on two other collections of poetry which are nearly ready for press; Bash Amuneni’s There’s a Lunatic in Every Town and Tope Ogundare’s The Book of Pain. Bash is one of Nigeria’s finest spoken word artistes and his collection is as interesting as he is. We are all looking forward to the book release in March (next month) – that is for the paper back. It would be accompanied with his Freedom audio spoken word collection, for the early birds who would be picking up the collection. You sure wouldn’t want to miss it. Tope, on the other hand, is a doctor and psychologist. You can check some of his fascinating writings featured on his blog at www.zaphnathpaaaneah.com. We will be having the e-copies by the end of the month. So, that is three lovely poetry collections already – what more can one ask for?

It isn’t all poetry. We just went to press with Dul Johnson’s Across the Gulf, one of the most challenging covers we have done. In the end, Eugene Odogwu – our graphics department head – was able to rally the team and bring out something beautiful and we fell in love with the cover, as much as we did with the story. The book will be out in stores early March.

Finally, we are working on two e-books, FOOLS 101 by John Chidi and for tomorrow (Valentine), MOUNT ORGASM by Ehi’zogie Iyeoman. Aha! Yes, there’s a poetry collection brewing up by a friend that has to do with the rain, terra cotta and some other wonderful images as will leave you smiling. I wouldn’t spoil the fun by calling names…

So, you see, there’s just so much work to do. I have decided too that I would be blogging a bit on the wonderful wonderful experience of publishing, its challenges and the backstory to some of the books. Some of the posts will be on my personal blog but most will be on our official SEVHAGE blog. You would be amazed at some of the tales.

In all, the times might be harsh but the works are smiling. Keep a date with me and us, and feel free to pre-order or make orders for any of our books at info@sevhage.com. All the poetry books go for a thousand naira, in some cases, exclusive of courier. We will send account details and we can discuss mode of transportation. If you are in Abuja, Benue or Ibadan, you can be sure you have no challenge.

May this day smile for us all. Cheers!

 

PS: We are doing some discounts on editing and book vanity publishing deals [yup, we do that too]… You might want to take advantage. Send us a mail at info@sevhage.com, let’s talk and see how we can get to seeing your works ready in-print or somewhere, online 🙂

 

PPS: What are you doing for Valentine? Particularly, what new writing have you been up to? So many things happening to make the times bleak but you know you can spark the times with something beautiful, right? Whatever it is you think you can do, get to it and make it worth it. Cheers!

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS, Uncategorized

FOR THE LOVE OF THINGS BETWEEN COVERS (RAMBLINGS)

I am not ashamed to say that I have found the greatest pleasure under covers. Being intimate with just one soul, usually one. But there are those days when there are a number of us. It is always fun. Lovely…lovely, books.

Books are amazing and have done so much for a whole lot of us. Where would we be without books? It has continued to grow from those few papyrus pages of yore.

Take a minute and think – where would we be without books today? They have come together to form the tales that are our lives. We are almost like books in some form of the writing stage.

Today, I think of all the various books that have shaped my life from the great books of Literature, the Bible, other books of religion, my development books. More than these, I am thinking of the Kobo reader that gave me a vista to new books that I never might have read. I remember fondly now that I read Khaled Hossein’s The Kite Runner and other titles from him plus Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Angel’s Game there. The same reader gave me the chance to share with loved ones, Belle, Debbie Iorliam and a few others. Wait, have I told you of the people I met from books? Kunta Kinte? Okonkwo? Dr Zhivago? Gabriel Van Helsing? Ah! The writers? From Achebe to Hemingway, Habila to Aristotle 😉 Okay, the comparisons aren’t coming out too well 🙂

But before I sound too nerdy and some people start talking of how people are no longer reading or all, let me say that I am also grateful for the gift of the world’s most famous and used book now: no, not the Bible. No, not the Koran or any top book you want to think of. Wait, did Ikhide just say ‘Facebook’? Top marks! Who else would have gotten it? Well, that is one book that we can’t do without, no? I have met so many lovely people after reading from that book.

Books have come to hold a more special meaning for me considering I have had four out and am working on more. As an editor and publisher, there are more that I am playing with too. There is nothing as beautiful as finding life in books. Really, where would we be without books?

Lest I forget, it is also Shakespeare’s birthday! Yaaaaay! I celebrate him as well as my friend, Ozioma Izuora, the amazon that keeps fighting. You don’t need to hear that she is from UNN to feel her lioness roarsShakespeare taught me much and I still remain mesmerised reading him. It is sad that his works are hard to enjoy on stage since the beauty of the words of the maestro are lost while one tries to look at the actions of people. But we will manage. Reminds me of that movie, Shakespeare in Love? Have you seen or watched it? Ah! You should if you haven’t. That is if you appreciate romance, thriller, adventure and the grace of verse. Should I start quoting some Shakespeare now? When it comes, it just feels like speaking in tongues: ‘There’s no art to finding the mind’s construction in the face…’ So, let me hide what else I have in mind.

Okay, two last lines: think of many romances books have brought…why don’t you spark life up some more again with a book or two. Happy World Book Day, Happy Copyright Day and Happy Shakespeare Day!

 

PS:
Special dedication to all those who books blessed me to find, amazing friends: Belle, Hyginus Ekwuazi, DaMore, Servio Gbadamosi, Omadachi Oklobia, Xikay, and the one million and whatever number else of the people on a dial that make my life worth it every day. Thank you, really much. I shall write some tales on books and love found from covers, maybe plus some shared between covers. Aidee thinks that we can be really cliche with our telling but maybe if I do just a few more cliches that come from the heart, we will all be fine. Love it or hate it, the books will still rule! Cheers.

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS, FICTION, TALES

OF A BLACK ASS, ELNATHAN JOHN’S TWIN AND A REVIEW by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

Did I tell you that I now do reviews for that lovely website, http://wawabookreview.com? I do, and they are great guys there. Somehow, Belle got to be reviewing after getting the contract from the editor, the deeply intellectual Biyi Olusolape. I decided to join the train and it has been fun. My first book of review was The Road to Mogador. I named the review there ‘Of Transitions, Agendas and Bad Balls.’ You can go take a look.

Now, I was given two books to review for December and yes, don’t envy me. It was Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday and A. Igoni Barrett’s Blackass. I have known ElJo since the early Abuja days and he has remained one writer that leaves me smiling, always – whether he’s criticising, lashing his satire or just writing. Only problem with my affection for him came in the person of Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, another talented writer who has come to be a friend and troublemaker who I respect and honour. Abubakar and ElJo write alike such that sometimes when I read one, I feel like I have read the other. Their lives also seem to be going in the same circles. Any surprise that they have been to a lot of workshops together? Okay, you didn’t know that one, abi? How come they were first shortlisted

abubakar eljo
Elnathan John and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

for the Caine Prize in the same year? And read the Caine collection, A Memory This Size and tell me where one’s story starts and the other ends. Any surprise now that Born on a Tuesday and Season of Crimson Blossoms came out at the same time? Wait for the next one. Cassava Republic is also publishing the UK version of Abubakar’s books. Ah! But let me not talk much about their similarities; a scholarly paper will be better than this my plenty grammar abi? Na you know. Sha, the thing is, when I read Abubakar first – and I get to do that usually, him being closer and all, then I get to read something similar in ElJo’s hands, I feel like I have read the tale before, so it feels one kain. That’s the feeling I got with ‘Bayan Layi’, the Caine 2013 shortlisted tale. My friend, Pever X, wouldn’t let me be because of the tale. He was head over heels for that tale. I like it, but I had read a similar one in Abubakar’s book. There are times when I am lucky to read Elnathan John first and wow! If you have read him, you know… but…

Now, Bayan Layi has been turned into a book and I have been forced to review it! Chai! What do I do?

born on a tuesdayI started reading the book with some fear… There was no need for the fear! It is as if, finding its spirit into a book, Bayan Layi transformed into something else. I enjoyed it this time around. By the time I got to Chapter Two of the book, the stress of the road overcame me. I was on the sixth leg of my journey. I had gone for the ANA convention in Kaduna, then gone to Nasarawa, then Abuja, Lagos and to Abeokuta for the Ake festival with Belle. We were on our way to Benin from Ibadan. There was road stress, work stress, and they played with my emotions too. 😉 I decided not to let the book waste. Haba, such a fine book. Oh! I should mention that at the festival El Jo and Abubakar were given 200k for their books alongside three other fine Northern female writers.

At some point, I decided to pick Blackass after an encounter with Igoni, the author at Ake. The guy is cool sha. I didn’t like his other book, Love is Power or Something Like It (a collection of short stories) which most people especially Belle think is all that. So, I was wondering what lay behind the covers of this new one. When the book sold out thrice at Ake, I had to go like ‘Wow! Okay o!’

Long story short, I read the book and I can say it is one of the quickest books I have read. The 300 or so pages melted away as my thumb pushed one page over the other in sharp succession. I laughed and laughed and blackass_igoni-barrettlaughed.

Summary of the story is this: a dude, Furo Wariboko wakes up on the day of his interview to discover that he is now a white man. He has some adventures and gets to meet Igoni (the author o!) and a lovely lady who takes him in and discovers his black bumbum. A lot of adventures happen and we see Naija proper. Igoni takes us on a tour of Lagos through the eyes of a white man who has a Nigerian soul. We see the way Nigerians behave towards their fellow blackies and to the whites. A lot of people have this set view that we all behave in one way towards the fair skinned guys but going through this book gives you an idea of how it really goes. Igoni also takes us to Abuja and gives us a tour. In several instances, we are introduced to certain aspects of our culture gaining grounds that we might not readily read or know about: transgender, the use of whites to our whims, the feeling of helplessness that lies within a lot of people who we think great and the like.

I will be reviewing the book shortly and yes, I will share the link. With this tale, I think Igoni has found a space in my heart. I will try to read past those few ten pages of that Love is Power book again. Whatever feeling I get from there, I know that the guy is truly gifted. If you get the book, please read it. It is one I will recommend over and over again. How many books can take your mind away from your boo? Okay, don’t answer that. Even your boo geti boo! Hee hee hee.

Have a lovely week ahead and in all you do, make every second count.

Cheers!

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, RAMBLES

HEY WRITER, STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE AND PRAY IT IS OKAY! (RAMBLES) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

Life is one big contradiction in every field but it is more so when you are a writer—or so I think. You think you are there, you think you have the right words. You are in the moment and you bask as Mother Muse slowly pours herself unto your pages through the medium of creativity.

Depending on the time, you push yourself to the end or just rush it to a stop. Finally, you smile at seeming perfection. Ah! For the conscious writer, something pricks you to note that the work might have flaws here and there. So, you might decide to getTagxedo disorder editors or throw the work away. If you get the right editors, your headache begins. Have you ever noticed how those folks always seem to find faults here or there? Some of the faults are so obvious you have to hit yourself in the head! Ouch! How could you have missed that? This is the beauty of patience and seeking counsel. (Yes, if you miss the editorial seat, you might miss a lot of good stuff that might have made your work better.)

Anyway, you do your rewrite and maybe feel the work is okay… Or you keep editing till you tire out. I have been known on occasion to keep editing right up to the door of the final proofer and printer doors! Anyway, finally, you push the work out, hoping that someone will like it somehow and it will be the ticket to giving you something good. Some of us, and I am a front man in this group, edit and refine our work tying as many screws as possible.

In most cases, you get your work or book published and the feeling, for most, is indescribable. It is like a baby given to a parent. The looks of wonder at the new you is something the adjectives of the universe will not dare present. You hold that book close… Yes, I know there are a few who would look at their own book with bad eyes especially if it didn’t come out the way they like. Talk of all those parents who discover that their children are disfigured or not of the sex they want! But no, we are not talking of those sorts of parents. We are talking of the proud ones and yes, I didn’t derail. We are still talking about books.

It is easy to find authors who pick their published books and see things they wish could have been done or written differently. Many times have authors been caught reading what they hoped they might have put. Some would take a pen and correct a few lines shortly before reading at a festival or something. Sometimes you begin to see things that might best have been removed or something that might have been added for effect. It gets to the case of seeing your grown child not being the perfect baby you had once viewed. The hope is that with the next book, you will take extra precaution and have your heart more expressed.

Usually, the ideal thing that most writers come to discover is that a work is best left to fallow for three months or maybe a year… just enough time for you to have become a stranger so that you will edit your work through fresh eyes since looking at the same thing over slowly makes it seem perfect. But time is not on the side of anyone and how long can one really take? Tagxedo disorderThe changes and all might never be enough and we usually have to just halt. Much like what poet and scholar, Hyginus Ekwuazi says echoing older writers of yore, no true work of art has ever been truly completed. You simply have to get the maturity to let it go, and pray that point was a time worth your imperfection.

So much to writing, so much to reading. Oh well. In the end, who knows what I might want to edit from this piece… I will be mature and let it fly. Wherever your writing and reading takes you this week, make it worth the time. Cheers!

First published on the SEVHAGE Reviews website.

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, BOOKS, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, EVENTS, INSPIRATION, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POETRY

THE SEVHAGE FLOOD COVERS

Yaaaaay! So, ladies and gentlemen…

After a loooooong wait, here we have our FLOOD collection covers… It has been a long wait since 2012 when we started the project but here we are. We have over a hundred poems in the poetry collection with entries from Niyi Osundare, Hyginus Ekwuazi, amu nnadi, Aondosoo Labe, Servio Gbadamosi, Jennifer Emelife, and a whole lot of beautiful people. Ah, trust me, it is a book worth waiting for. The Tale book has Pever X, Seun Odukoya, Sibbyl Whyte, Sewe Leah Anyo, Dotta Raphels, to mention a few…

Schedule for the full release online or rather, talk on that, can be found HERE

We are working on the SEVHAGE Women Collection too, we had far more submissions than we bargained for… But we will soon get to that. Anyway, we were talking about the flood… So,

without further ado, find here then, the covers…

The Rainbow Lied eCover2

The Promise e-cover (1)

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, LIFE, LITERARY MISSIONARY

RANTING ON WHERE I HAVE BEEN: ON THE ROAD

20150609_152657
Transforming the room

Hey guys! Really sorry I have been a bit off… There has been lots of stuff to catch up with. There was an interview I had with the network service of our Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) which I travelled to the capital for… Ah! That was something else. The way it is done, the interviewee usually has to host the session. I guess the idea is to ensure the interviewee is ‘much at home’ with the interview 🙂 Oh well… So, I drove in on that beautiful Tuesday, for the interview. Mehn, you should have seen the traffic. It was the day for the official inauguration of the National Assembly… It seemed all their supporters had to come to Abuja. Well, I got to town and headed straight to my lodgings. When the NTA guys were through rearranging my room, I had to wonder where I was!

Oh well, it was a beautiful interview and I had to answer a set of ten or so questions like three times! Phew! I read a story, ‘Simply Mortal’ from The Bottom of Another Tale, my collection of short stories… three times! Performed three poems including ‘An Anthem of Pain’ (from Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile), ‘Awambe Awambe’ (a war poem in Tiv and English), and ‘If the Sun wasn’t so mean’ (the last  two from my first collection of poems, Bring our casket home: Tales one shouldn’t tell. It was soooo much fun. And yup, you should have seen me doing the theatrics! Yaaaaaay! The interviewer, Dooshima, was wonderful as was Alex Omanchi (both in the picture above). We kept on talking and cracking jokes in between sessions and all such that I hardly had an idea that about three (or was it four?) hours had gone.

The interview aired on Thursday of the same week. Really cool. Don’t worry, I might get to post the video online at some point. Just remind me to do so 😉

After that, I was able to catch up with a lot of people including Ben Ubiri, TJ Benson, Hymar David and Cece Ireneh, among

Hymar David, Cece Ireneh, TJ Benson and Su'eddie
Hymar David, Cece Ireneh, TJ Benson and Su’eddie

other writers. Yes, there were family and friends to meet but why bore you with that talk …

Since then, there has been a million running around and you don’t want to know the half of it. At a point, I thought my butt was going to scrape off. Thank goodness for family, my parents, friends, my lovely sister and yes, the belle.

Now, I was in Ibadan too and met with a million people that I cannot start mentioning! Maybe I should put that in a different post… Ah! What a town! There was the Niyi Osundare event I posted about earlier… At that place, I met everyone – well, nearly everyone. There was Anita Ikhifa who I hadn’t seen since my reading in Ibadan two years ago… There was Peter Akinlabi, Akintunde Aiki, Femi Fairchild Morgan, Servio Gbadamosi, Tosin, Jonah Obajeun…Iya Ibadan too (yeah, I know you don’t know them but Google might help small…that or Facebook. Lovely award winning writers, bloggers and peeps there)…

And the men themselves, Hyginus Ekwuazi and NIYI OSUNDARE! When I was going to perform my poem at the event, the

Performing at Osundare's event
Performing at Osundare’s event.. That’s Prof. Osundare and Femi Morgan behind me… I felt like one bamn preacher sef! 🙂

renowned poet and Professor, Niyi Osundare stood up to greet me and gave me a hug while offering a handshake. Big honour. He said he had read me…and when I completed my performance, he gave good constructive criticism. Same as he did for Richard Anyah, who had performed before me. Prof. Osundare said Servio and I write alike… Hmmm. Strange.

Somehow, I got back with Debbie, beautiful friend/thought stealer and invaluable colleague, who I had been traveling with after sneaking to go pray with my loved ones in Ife. Sometimes life teaches us to always value our health, our loved ones and those we hold dear more in certain periods. Maybe you should thank the heavens for any and every one who you have with you right now. Never take any moment for granted.

with Servio Gbadamosi and Prof. Hyginus Ekwuazi
with Servio Gbadamosi and Prof. Hyginus Ekwuazi

Oh well, there’s been much since then. As the Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, I was able to conduct an inter-secondary school competition in Makurdi, Benue here. Had support from writers like Anselm Ngutsav, Debbie Iorliam (both were judges), Ene Odaba, Tersoo Ayede… Mount St Gabriel’s came first.

Now, I have ranted on and on and on. Bottom line: I am back. Did you miss me? I missed you. I still do. So, do quick, get back and let’s continue with this, yes? Okay. #hugs