Posted in LITERARY MISSIONARY, POETRY

Dance amongst the Hurricanes (A Poem) by Fubaraibi Anari Benstowe

The fires that could not consume us
Made our bones metals
This is how boys are forged into men

The world is for tungsten hearts
Men who dare their beast in the  face
And carry their mountains in baskets

The world is for those who dance
In gatherings of hurricanes
And still survive its suffocation.

Continue reading “Dance amongst the Hurricanes (A Poem) by Fubaraibi Anari Benstowe”

Posted in AFRICAN WRITERS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, SOCIAL CRITIC

UK MASTER’S SCHOLARSHIP ALERT: The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award at SOAS LONDON

Deadline: 20 February 2020

In summary:
This is a scholarship for 3 African women to do any of the following eligible Programmes at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London (United Kingdom):

This award is for a student with a particular interest in African Literature with the aim to support a new generation of African female writers

  • Part-time programmes are not eligible
  • New applicants only (new admissions, starting in September 2020)

I don’t know who this might help but please pass on the word.

Continue reading “UK MASTER’S SCHOLARSHIP ALERT: The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award at SOAS LONDON”

Posted in AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT CAFE, AFRICAN WRITERS, AFRICAN WRITERS DEVELOPMENT CAFE, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POL TALKS

Decolonizing Innovation by Kola Tubosun

(Being the text of a talk delivered at Sussex Nigerian Society’s Black History Month event at the University of Sussex on Wednesday, October 10, 2019)

One of the things I remember while growing up in Ìbàdàn was that almost every technological item in the house was made in China. I knew this because it was written there: “Made in China.” It was hard to avoid. You just needed to look a bit under the item, or around it, and the sign was there: “Made in China.” I know this hasn’t changed as much today because a couple of weeks ago, my son, who is now almost six, asked me, “Is everything made in China?” He must have been observing too.

But it was not just electronic items that I associated with a particular place. I remember the razor blades we used — probably the same ones we still use in Nigeria — were made in Czechoslovakia. Well now, the country no longer exists, so it will now likely be written as “Made in Czech Republic”, but the association persisted long enough in my mind that I could not associate razor blades with any other place than Czechoslovakia, a country I could not place on the map, nor even properly spell if not for the razor blade.

Continue reading “Decolonizing Innovation by Kola Tubosun”

Posted in AFRICAN WRITERS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, WORKSHOP

APPLY FOR LITERARY WORKSHOPS AT THE BENUE BOOK AND ARTS FESTIVAL

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 benuefestival@gmail.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.

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Posted in LITERARY MISSIONARY, SOCIAL CRITIC

PIUS, NAIJA SCHOOLS AND THE LAGOS COLLAPSE

Only yesterday, it feels like that, Nigeria went into mourning over the death of Pius Adesanmi, our much beloved Professor of many letters and social critic. Our eyes are still wet with the tears.

Continue reading “PIUS, NAIJA SCHOOLS AND THE LAGOS COLLAPSE”

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

RESCUING OUR BODIES – LUCIA SELLARS

A brief account of the poetry workshop:
The Poet as Witness,
guided by poet Kwame Dawes.

 

A rainy Saturday winter morn-ning in Oxford. I started walking at 7.45am from Iffley up to the north area of Woodstock in order to reach the Radcliffe Humanities building of Oxford University. I was excited. First, because I was going to go into the architectural entrails of the building that held the philosophy department of the university. This was exciting, because four years before I had intended to volunteer (research for free) in the department in order to soak up in the knowledge I was so hungry to learn and discuss with others. The intention was a failure. Second, because an unknown poet for me, had offered a ‘free’ workshop with the enticing title of The Poet as Witness.

Continue reading “RESCUING OUR BODIES – LUCIA SELLARS”

Posted in AWARDS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

ON BEING ON THE LIST OF 100 INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40 (2018)

Last year came to an end with me getting a mail from the Nigerian Writers Award group that I had been listed on their 100 Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40. Not a bad way to end the year, right?

My second year on the list and I smiled at the group of names there too: friends like the phenomenal Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, my brothers, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, T. J. Benson and Romeo Oriogun, the poetic maestros Basiru Bash Amuneni, Dike Chukwumerije, Efe Paul Azino and Graciano Enwerem, the graceful Amara Nicole Okolo, Dami Ajayi, Kenechi Uzor, Eketi Edima Ette, Elnathan John, Emmanuel Iduma, Olulu Holloway, Jumoke Verissimo… to mention a few of my people on the list.

Continue reading “ON BEING ON THE LIST OF 100 INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40 (2018)”

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, LITERARY MISSIONARY, POETRY

KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY

It isn’t always one wakes up in Oxford or to a day when you would attend Kwame Dawes’s poetry workshop. But that was the case on this fine Saturday, 1st December, 2018. The clouds were gloomy but that was the least of my concerns. I had spent the night in the town after coming in from Brighton the previous day. Kwame had had a reading, followed by a showcase of the African Poetry Book Fund books. It was fun but that is story for another day.

Continue reading “KWAME DAWES’S WITNESS TO POETRY”

Posted in LITERARY MISSIONARY, REVIEWS

RISE, LIVE TO YOUR WRITE!

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 get 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? The 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 weekend, and in the coming week, make it worth the time. Cheers!

 

(Reblogged from forever ago… Still me 🙂 )

Posted in AWARDS, BOOKS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS (ANA) 2017 LITERARY PRIZES WINNERS

The ANA 2017 Literary Prize Winners were announced by one of the judges, Dr. Owojecho Omoha of the University of Abuja at the ANA Convention awards dinner on Saturday 28th October, 2017 held at Royal Choice Inn, Makurdi, Benue State. Only three categories (Drama, Poetry and Prose) were awarded out of the six contestable ANA Literary Prizes. The judges did not find any work worthy enough to merit the ANA/Maria Ajima Prize for Literary Prizes, ANA/Abubakar Gimba Prize for Fiction (Short Stories Collection), and ANA Children’s Literature Prize (for ages 7-13 years). However, an ‘Honourary Mentions’ list (for commendable works not strong enough to merit the award but worth mentioning) were announced alongside the shortlist release in September 2017.

ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES WINNERS
ANA Prize for Drama
Winner: Magnetism by R. C. Ofodile
1st Runner Up: The Masked Crown by Tunji Ajibade
2nd Runner Up: General Ologbosere by Dickson Ekhaguere

ANA Prize for Poetry
Winner: For Every Homeland by Obari Gomba
1st Runner Up: Of Waters and the Wild by Ebi Yeibo
2nd Runner Up: A Child of Smell by Seyi Adigun

ANA Prize for Prose Fiction
Joint Winners: Across the Gulf by Dul Johnson
What It Takes by Lola Akande
1st Runner Up: Devil’s Pawn by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
2nd Runner Up: Goodbye Tomorrow by Ike Utuagha

The Honourary Mentions and their categories as announced in the list released in September are:
ANA /ABUBAKAR GIMBA PRIZE FOR SHORT STORIES
A Tiny Place Called Happiness by Bura-Bari Nwilo
Gates of Dawn by MSC Okolo
Tales From Our Past by Lucky James.

ANA CHILDREN’S LITERATURE PRIZE
The Adventure of Three Wild Boys by Wale Adewale
Sodality: A Tale of Friendship by Chioma A Diru
Dancing Tree by Stanley Okeke Oji

ANA/MARIA AJIMA PRIZE FOR LITERARY CRITICISM
• ‘Radical Theatre and Criticism of anti-People’s Culture: A Study of Esiaba Irobi’s Hangmen also Die’ by Nwagbo Pat -Obi
• ‘Vicarious Idiosyncrasies: The Mother-Daughter Ligament in Ernest Emenyonu’s Listen, My Momma Pays Your Taxes’ by Fynest Elvis

 

ANA 2017 LITERARY PRIZES JUDGES
1. Prof. Nelson Fashina – University of Ibadan
2. Salihu Mohammed Bappa- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
3. Dr. Ismaila Bala Garba – Bayero University, Kano
4. Dr Owojecho Omoha- University of Abuja
5. Dame Joan Oji – Educational & Literary Consultant, Abuja

 

For a detailed review of the 2017 Literary Prizes Shortlist, check here.

 

Dul with Su'eddie
Dul Johnson (2017 ANA Prize for Prose winner) with his publisher, Su’eddie Vershima Agema (2014 ANA Prize for Poetry Winner)