by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema The Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) has today released her poetry prize longlist in four categories (English, Arabic, French and Kiswahili). The signed release by the Association’s Secretary General, Dr. Wale Okediran, shows a total of fifty-three longlisted entrants, with fifteen in each category, except for Kiswahili with eight entries. … Continue reading PAN AFRICAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION RELEASES POETRY LONGLIST WITH NIGERIAN ALL-STAR CAST FEATURING DENJA ABDULLAHI, TANURE OJAIDE, SERVIO GBADAMOSI, OBARI GOMBA, ONYEKA NWELUE, ECHE NDUKA AND OLUMIDE OLANIYAN
This is awesome news for Niyi Osundare’s fans: he has a new book out in January 2022. Yaaaaay! Titled Green: Sighs of our Ailing Planet, the collection is an urgent collection of necessity born out of the poet’s need to speak to issues that plague the world. The overview of the book on Barnes and Noble notes that it “is a critical pastoral of poems concerning the environment aroudn the world, from place to place…a book relevant and hopeful for people to stop and reflect on the endangered beauty of all of nature.”
(after a post of the same title by the incredible, Adebola Rayo – for her) I barely write verse any more so I guess my creative voice is sore.I thought of what to write, what words would be right…What would I want you to read? Would these be the words you need? I whispered to … Continue reading STAY THE COURSE (Verse) by Su’eddie V. Agema
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.”
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.
Adamu, write me not of the
chameleonic nature of Lagos
nor of its seeming a spiderweb
Continue reading “BORNO (A Poem) by Mujahyd Ameen Lilo”
We are skeletons trapped in a pot of time Life is the fire boiling us The seasons picking our flesh Vultures take forks, smiling Waiting as they hover We are skeletons waiting We soon lose our flesh and become our true selves. Continue reading SKELETONS (A Poem) by S. V. Agema
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.
Another African statesman and fine gentleman, David Rubadiri, poet, academic and diplomat, has died at the age of 88.
I don’t come here too often but don’t worry, I am still around. So, I will be reading from three of my multiple award winning collections of short stories and poetry at the Abuja Literary Society Book Jam on 31st August 2018. Venue is Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja.