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.
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.
POEMS, SHORT STORIES, CRITICAL ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS, CONFERENCE REPORTS< BOOK REVIEWS, AUTHOR/CRITIC PROFILES, REPORTS FROM BENEFICIARIES OF FELLOWSHIPS/GRANTS AND MISCELLANEA… DEADLINE: 8th August 2013
The Editorial Board of ANA REVIEW, the in-house journal of the Association of Nigerian Authors, invites contributions from writers across the country and in other continents, for publication in the association’s journal. ANA REVIEW will feature original works in any of the following areas: critical essays, short stories, poems, interviews, conference reports, book reviews, author/critic profiles, reports from beneficiaries of fellowships and grants, and miscellanea including evaluation of poetry and dramatic performances.
The following is the range of submissions for editorial consideration:
a] Poetry—No more than three poems per submission.
b] Prose—Short stories or fiction excerpts must be under 3,000 words.
c] Essays—Academic and literary essays on subjects related to literature are welcome; must be
under 5,000 words.
d] Drama—Skits only, under 3,000 words.
All submissions should be sent as attachments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org including brief biodata and telephone number(s).
Deadline for submissions is August 8th, 2013.
The ANA Review Board for 2013 comprises—
1] Obododimma Oha
2] Vicky S. Molemodile
3] Ismail Bala Garba
4] Chiedu Ezeanah
5] Mike Jimoh
Late submissions will NOT be entertained.
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READING BUZZ: The Symbols Cuisine Gallery. 8:20pm.
It was the Purple Silver Open Mic session. WE had our discussion forum and continued with our readings/performances.
We had six performances – largely, okay, all poetry. The first shot was from Kenneth Apine, received with some criticism. Next was Ode Attah with ‘Inner Peace‘, a beautifully written poem that didn’t have a performance to match. Samuel Ikyobo read ‘Irony’ a poem that balanced irony and paradox in the same seat. Lots of people agreed that the poem might have been better if they had copies to go through… We put that in our thoughts (sound system) … Anselm Ngutsav read ‘Red Wine‘ a poem that praises red wine and red lips. The applause was much, especially from the ladies 😉 … Ene Adama performed ‘Hand made god’ in true Spoken Word form – from her head. Her hat gave her a look of a magician with words flowing from deep within…
The last poem was from Jennifer Jasmine Yahaya who read ‘African woman’, a woman of great pride and great breasts feeding lions. She started by craving our understanding as she was performing for the first time. Hmm. We expected the worst but she was really nice. The feeling I had was of Chimamanda Adichie and Toni Morrison in some strange combination. It seems I wasn’t the only one affected as there was a general ENCORE cry. She performed beyond par.
A few questions were asked on inspiration, themes and the like.
Announcements: Well, first and foremost, SEVHAGE in collaboration with the Writers’ League is bringing award winning poet, writer and deep critic, Prof. Musa Idris Okpanachi to Makurdi on Wednesday for a reading at the Benue State University, Makurdi. The main book to be read is his great new book, From the margins of Paradise. Time is set for 4pm and the tentative venue is the ALGON Hall.
Anselm (Purple Silver’s Coordinator) announced that book donations were sought in order to enlarge the library of the Orphanage home. A few other announcements and yup, it was time to call it a day. We thanked everyone for coming, invited them for our next reading on Saturday 1st June, 2013 and took our leave…
It had been some long evening but well, it was definitely worth it. More, please…
- LITERARY BUZZ: PURPLE SILVER OPEN MIC SESSION (25th May, 2013): DISCUSSION (sueddie.wordpress.com)
- Open Mic – Literary Fun (at the Abuja Literary Society) (sueddie.wordpress.com)
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Silverbird Lifestyle Store, 2013 10th May
It was the Open Mic session of the Abuja Literary Society and yup, I had to be there. First people I noticed coming in were ElNathan John and Dike Chukwumerije. Okay, this was going to be fun. Usual hi’s to friends and acquaintances and I got to my seat. Smiling. This was going to be fun. The last time I had been at any ALS event was with Chuma Nwokolo Jnr when he had had his reading. That had proved a most entertaining evening.
After some time we got started with general introductions. I noticed immediately that there were lots of fine voices – trust me to catch that. Also noticed that there was this fine lady beside me who said something about being here in the country for one thing or the other. The MC (the Bookman) started the discussion session. We settled to discuss the topic ‘Excessive Force of the Military in Fighting Boko Haram‘. The talk went far beyond that o… Of course, I wouldn’t be boring you with that, so cool! I can only say that if you want a deep flow on the topic, you can still make out time (if you are in Abuja) to come for the ALS open mic session on 14th June 2013, same venue. We were promised that military experts would come to give their thoughts too so that we don’t keep moving about with our professionally unprofessional analysis… Hee hee hee. Oh well.
The performances started with two performance poets, Alfa and Bolaji who read ‘Black Gold Biva’ and ‘My Pain’ respectively. They were well received with little admonition on how to make their art better. Bolaji was notably more impressive in his ending than start. He seemed to be a poet who gathered air with time. He introduced his poem by saying ‘He was a virgin’… Okay… Now, he stopped there. Had some of us wondering the virginity angle he was coming from: metaphoric? Unlearned in the art of eating the bearded meat? As a performer? 😉 Oh well. Except for some ugly cliches here and there, his delivery was good:
‘Once I befriended fantasy
It was beautiful but I met reality
she defied me and became my pain
pain is gain/no pain no gain
so I rise from this cold floor stronger
to pick my gain’
Next, Azeezat read a short story ‘Apprehension’, set in a town near similar to Jos. Well, Jos came to mind. It was about someone running in a time of crisis, hiding, noticing evils and falling… First draft. Most of us agreed that it could have been better. Adeyemi read ‘Cheeter‘s buzz’, a poem which some people had some time fitting into the right genre. He wasn’t conversant with the poem and it could have been written better, and performed more beautifully. I have a feeling there’s more to that particular piece… Removing some forced rhymes, overt biblical allusions that were plain and the like. Elnathan John commented of the poem that the poet took the name of the Lord in vain! Hee hee hee. Oh well. Enough said.
I read a poem next, ‘Life’. Taken from Bring our casket home, a 9 lined poem that ends (minus one line) thus:
I stayed an eternity with you
But just as my heart counted a second
The night rolled its mat
Before the audience or I knew it, I was sitting again. Wow! Felt good reading that. Some people mentioned that I should join the slammers (performance Kings). I smiled. Well, compliments that would leave anyone fulfilled. The reading continued. A hip-hop poetic performer, Ogo, read ‘Pure’. The banker rhymed on like Jay Z and not a few ladies made catcalls… Na wa o! I need to learn some romantic rhymes too!
The Musicians took over. Afolabi and Isaac came on stage. Isaac was on the guitar, while Afolabi breathed lyrics into the air that had me change my camera from still shots to video mode. The song was ‘Trueness’ and the rendition truly from the soul. It came out lovely. Some people noted that Afolabi held back and could have done better. Left a few people behind me and myself too wondering what they meant… This guy was sooooo it. Wow! You should have heard him. It was fluid and to think it was without effects or anything? C’mon!!
A lady, Kelechi read ‘Sweet Seeder’ (a story/article/narrative/instruction). Suggested that she work on making it one. Material there but too undefined. There was a poem read by Banji and Egbuche Pope read a long undefined piece too, titled ‘Its 4pm’. He was told to rework it. There was a short story read by … Another musical presentation was done by Afolabi and three other friends. Hmm. Need I say more? I respect the guy jare!
The final presentation was a lovely poem ‘Battlefields of the Mind’ written by Busola Sosannya. For some reason she didn’t perform it (shyness abi? 🙂 )… It was performed by ace performer, Dike Chukwumerije. As it moved to closing, I remembered our Makurdi ‘Purple Silver’ group hosted by Anselm Ngutsav. Miss those readings…
It was real late, some long minutes past 21:00hrs or was it closer to 22:00? Several of the people had left. There were talks, catching up and making of new acquaintances. I did some on the spot editing of Busola’s poem and asked a few questions of why the poet had not performed her piece. Lots of more talk and in the end, there was a walk…
Ask me not where to… 😉
Meanwhile, there was a journey of some two hours to get to. Home called and more activities. Oh well.
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In the beginning was the word…
Words. Words. Words.
In the continuation was the word…
Words. Words. Words.
In the silence was the word…
Words. Words. Words.
At the end was the word…
Words. Words. Words.
(by Chinyere Obi-Obasi…NOTE: This is a challenge that also has prizes to be won!! Can you beat that?!!)
Hope you have not forgotten the challenge
One of the reasons why I am a hit with my children is because of my fertile imagination. So while telling the story of Joseph and Portiphar’s wife, I tell them for example that Portiphar’s wife represents a female or male boss who wants to take advantage of you and believes he/she has the ability to sack you whenever he/she feels like it.
Joseph represents you with the fear of God. You believe God will establish your home even if you are sacked.
Develop a short story by situating the story of Joseph’s encounter with Portiphar’s wife in modern times.
Best entry will get a prize from me. Spread the word. All entries will be published in my blog.
TIP: You can read about this Joseph/Portiphar’s encounter in Genesis to appreciate it before writing.
THE RULES FOR THE SHORT STORY CHALLENGE.
1. Open to all ages
2. Not more than 2,000 words.
3. Send to me via email@example.com
4. Closing date for receipt of entry 20th April, 2013
5. Short bio data to accompany entry
6. Winner will be selected by Dr. Eghosa Imasuen
7. Winner will be announced on 1st May 2013
8. The prize is a digital voice recorder.
If I was taking part, this is what I will do;
1. Read the story from the bible to understand and appreciate the woman’s obsession and Joseph’s trauma. Try to capture their emotional state of mind.
2. To replicate it in modern times, I will think of all the superior/subordinate relationships. Father/child, boss/colleague, pastor/member, landlord/tenant etc. a relationship where you have a lot to lose when you say no.
3. I will not just think of sexual relationship. I can think of something that has to do with somebody asking me to do something unethical.
4. I will then do the plot of three of such different scenarios.
5. I will spend another day thinking of which I am more comfortable with.
6. I will then ask myself which voice i want to use. The 1st, 2nd or 3rd person voice.
7. I will then do the first draft early in the morning or whichever time is convenient to me
8. Then do the second and third draft.
9. Use pro writing to edit the work to remove cliches lurking around, excessive use of a particular work, sticky sentences etc.
10. Send it to a critic for his assessment and help.
11. Take some or all of the corrections or advice and rewrite.
12. Keep the draft for a few days. Look at it again for mistakes before sending it off.
People let’s not make Dr. Eghosa Imasuen’s work easy LOL
NOW PEOPLE, get ready to get that Digi Voice Recorder!!! May the best person win! – Su’eddie
- Bath Short Story Award 2013 – Deadline March 30th (getwrite.com)
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- Hey guys!
If you’re interested in poetry, names and African culture, you’ll probably like my interview with poet, Dike Chukwumerije, out today, in the recent issue of Saraba Magazine (Available for free download here)
And if you like freebies and giveaways, you’ll be interested to know that I’ll be giving away 2 autographed copies of his poetry collection, Ahamefula: The Cultural Significance of Names Amongst the Ibos
To participate, all you have to do is:
- Follow this blog (Click on the ‘Yes!’ button at the top right hand corner)
- Leave a comment on this post telling us your name, its meaning and what language it is derived from
- Don’t forget to add your email address so that you can be contacted (This will not be published)
Entries close on Friday, 29th March after which, two lucky winners will be randomly selected and results announced on Monday, 1st April.
***Please note that, for logistic reasons, this giveaway is limited to people resident in Nigeria.
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Art is life. Life’s art. Writing is an art, it could also be a life. What else captures the details of the past, intertwining it with the occurrence of the present, yet plodding the way for the future but writing. With just a few words, your imagination travels between time and space, thus making geographic demarcations of boundaries look seamless. The secrets of life are kept afresh and handed down to subsequent generations through writing. So why aren’t the wordsmiths leaving up to their billing?
Arts in Nigeria has gained a lot of momentum lately. The actors, musicians, painters, even photographers and make-up artistes are gaining prominence and recognition in our society. The fashion industry riding on the success of the entertainment industry is recording quantum strides. All, but the writers. How could this be, that the queen and bride of all creative manifestations be relegated to levels befitting of paupers? The beholders of the secrets that lay in the lairs of the deep are fast drifting into oblivion. Some say writers can’t survive in our society. Many others say Nigerians don’t read. Indigenous literature it seems lose their footing to foreign ones. The average girl would hastily grab a Sidney Sheldon over a Lara Daniels. The Dibias would only receive accolades but we stock up our libraries with Grishams.
However, lest we rush ourselves into hasty conclusions, based on the obvious, let us remind ourselves that our counterparts in the sister arts equally faced this clog. But unlike us, they did not hurl accusations. Like them, we need to take action. We need to start appreciating indigenous wordsmiths. We hear there is a dearth of good writers in the country. This is a farce. Ever year, my compatriots receive accolades globally. It is up to the writers to test the waters and create the butterfly effect that would enable a literary environment flourish in our country. The works of Pulp Faction book club, Naijastories, Nigerian Writers forum and Debonair Bookstores are appreciated but a lot still needs to be done. Reading competitions have to be inculcated in our primary schools. Book clubs and literary groups with emphasis on local content have to be re-introduced in our secondary schools. Arts festivals and book carnivals have to be taken to the national level. We have the capacity to host art events that would rival the pedigree of the hay festival.
Only then would the publishers, corporate world and film makers come to share in the slice of the cake. The onus is on us as writers to partake in defining a new Nigeria for our youths. Where intellectualism thrives over ignorance and sentiments. Where jingoistic views would be overtaken by enlightenment. Though it is not an easy task, nor one with immediate visible results, the fruits of such venture have generational implications. He who plants a seed today leaves a shade for the next generation. In this plethora of misguided conceptions and ideologies, what seed are we planting that would provide shades for the future one? How do we preserve our fast depleting culture , if not through writings.
Do we want our children to hear of our stories from the lips of foreigners? Let us stimulate the taste buds of indigenous literature and keep them salivating for more. More importantly for our sakes. The only way to attain immortality is through writing. A writer never dies, he merely lives in another form. Through his writings.
First Published on Naija Stories
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