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Shortlisted Poems for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2014

Entrants to the prize had to submit ten poems. Here is a sample poem from each of the six shortlisted poets. VIOLA ALLO: From Farm to Schoolroom After George Ella Lyon I am from cassava, from mortars and pestles and grinding stones, from cracked corn, fried plantains, and pounded… Read more

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Neon Chinese

The year begins with Translations

Excited to begin a creative project on Africa-China in conversation, approaching it through a cultural lens , producing stories, mine and others to be translated in Chinese. I’m not doing this alone. It is an initiative between the African Writers Trust (AWT) and the Global Digital Humanities at… Read more

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To Jesus on His Birthday, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

For this Christmas, the spirit, the essence: loving and giving, giving and loving. Moment to moment ’til it’s another year and another. The cyclic fuels us, stills us, peace all around. The tapestry of our lives held in the wheel. The portal of light opens, reveals yet again who what we are,… Read more

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Silence Would Be Treason: Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa

  To read my review of Silence Would Be Treason: Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa edited by Helen Fallon, Íde Corley and Laurence Cox, published jointly by CODESRIA and Daraja Press. Click this link African Writers Trust. Thank… Read more

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Irki is for Homeland, Kadija Sesay’s first poetry book

Irki is one of the poetry books published in 2013 that one ought to read before the year ends. Reason, it takes the idea of knitting to a poetic level that becomes crucial in understanding how each individual poem threads into a collection of 53 poems structured under four parts. “Letting Go,”… Read more

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Helene Johnson’s poem, “Bottled” its connection with the Nigerian movie (Nollywood) and Ugandan music

The concept of “Bottled” explored through poetry, music, and Nigerian movie. Is power and control the meat of this concept or there’s much more? Other than taking a simple and deductive approach, what might be hidden beneath? Is it enough to go with some of the joys of artistic expression–the… Read more

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I shall wear purple poem

Recently my friend Jackee posted on facebook her picture in a beautiful purple dress and I couldn’t help but comment how wonderful she looked, how in fact, purple was her color. Jokingly, she quoted the poem by Jenny Joseph which I’m posting here, which I find a sweet read on a Thursday evening…. Read more

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Seamus Heaney: We keep stumbling behind you, tripping, falling, not going away.

Seamus Heaney’s going to the next world made me think that the good poets are dying but that’s not entirely true. We are “followers” and will not go away from them, and they’re not really gone from us although it appears so. I was doing my MFA in creative writing at Syracuse University when he… Read more

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Margaret Atwood, Susan Kiguli, Raymond Carver: three poems about photographs

Three poems by three poets from three continents, presenting similar and varying perspectives of photographs. Margaret Atwood (born 1939) “This is a Photograph of Me” (Canada) Susan Kiguli (born 1969) “My Mother in Three Photographs” (Africa/Uganda) Raymond Carver (1938-1988)… Read more

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Trayvon, Did You Know…

I tend to be doing tributes nowadays. Issues like social justice, citizenship, truth and fairness continue to inspire my literary pursuits. This afternoon while I was starting my computer I heard the song, Mary, Did You Know, only the name wasn’t Mary but that of Trayvon Martin’s mother. I… Read more

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