Poetry

Beyond Writing, Poetry Also Speaks

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: With Pens that Shout and Mouths that Shut
  • Editor: Rhymers Club, Nabisunsa Girls School
  • Publisher: Bonacraft
  • Number of pages: 105
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

With Pens that Shout and Mouths that Shut is an anthology that celebrates the rich vein of literary expression to be found amongst the young student-poets of Rhymers Club, a literary club in Nabisunsa Girls School, Uganda. The fifty-two poems in the book are divided into the following sections: ‘Prologue’, ‘School Life’, ‘Culture and Lifestyle’, ‘Politics’, and ‘Love’. The sixth section, ‘Epilogue’, has no poem under it. The poems are well-written in simple and straightforward English, though there are indigenous words in some poems which venerate the hybridisation of language in African poetry. The anthology touches most of the major thematic issues in African poetry: language, embracing African culture, the political maladies of the state and the astounding feelings of love.
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The Effect of African Culture on African Literature: A Review of Tosin Gbogi’s locomotifs and other songs

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: locomotifs and other songs 
  • Author: Tosin Gbogi
  • Publisher: Noirledge Publishing
  • Number of pages: 95
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Poetry

Africa being a continent that is inhabited by a large percentage of people with dark skin pigmentation, the continent is also one that is rich in cultural norms, values and traditions. African literature, without a doubt, is deeply rooted in African culture. This is because the people’s customs, values, norms and traditions are basically the issues that form the content of African literature. More…

English as a Tool in Relating the African Experience

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: My Africa, My City: An Afridiaspora Anthology
  • Editor: Nana-Ama Kyerematen
  • Publisher: Winepress Publishing
  • Number of pages: 155
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Essays, Fiction, Poetry

In his collection of essays, Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o writes, ‘Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world’. English, acquired from European colonisers, has become a tool in bridging linguistic barriers between Africans. Chinua Achebe said in his essay, ‘The African Writer and the English Language’, ‘I feel that the English language will be able to carry the weight of my African experiences. But it will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home, but altered to suit its new African surroundings’. In this light, English as used in African literature is not just what was bequeathed to us but a new Creole capable of relating the African experience. More…

Against Liberalism and Idealism

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Euphoria of Sophistry
  • Author: Terseer Sam Baki
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 62
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

Terseer Sam Baki’s collection extends the frontiers of poetry as it deals with several issues affecting human existence. It can be termed absolute poetry, going by the variety of themes treated. The collection is also deliberately designed to reflect this. More…

Humans, Psychology and Sociology as a Circle of Mutual Influence

By Omotola Otubela 


  • Title: There Is a Lunatic in Every Town 
  • Author: Bash Amuneni
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 83
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

Ideas become irrelevant when they are not channelled or directed to the right people through an effective medium. African poets such as Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark and Tade Ipadeola have called attention to the relevance of African literature. A new voice joining the chorus of these legends is the performance poet and essayist, Bash Amuneni. His works include Freedom, a spoken word poetry album released in 2015, and There Is a Lunatic in Every Town, published in 2016. From a close study of these two works, one can observe that Amuneni is a poet that is greatly inspired by the society at large. More…

A Flood of Titan Tears for a Nigerian Century

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: Footmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s Nationhood
  • Editors: Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Naza Amaeze Okoli
  • Publisher: ICS Services Limited
  • Number of pages: 332
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Poetry

Nigeria marked a century since its amalgamation in 2014 and to celebrate this, there were several events including a number of offerings from the literary community. Two standout anthologies of poetry in this mould include Poems for a Century edited by Tope Omoniyi and Footmarks: Poems on One Hundred Years of Nigeria’s Nationhood edited by Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and Naza Amaeze Okoli. More…

The Portrait of the Poet as a Historian

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Iconography
  • Author: Peter Akinlabi
  • Publisher: Khalam Editions
  • Number of pages: 84
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Poetry

This collection, Iconography, can be read as history, as nonfiction fused with the aesthetic appeal of poetry. Peter Akinlabi bridges the gap between history and poetry with the poems and the sequence in which they are arranged. Although the poems would have still flowed well without a formal arrangement, the collection is divided into thematic sections. The collection contains 30 poems that are broken into three sections. The first section, ‘A Laying on of Hands’ has 12 poems; the second section, which is eponymously entitled ‘Iconography’, has nine poems; the last section, also with nine poems, is titled ‘Of Poets and Lofts’. More…

Love and Death in Dami Ajayi’s A Woman’s Body Is a Country

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: A Woman’s Body Is a Country 
  • Author: Dami Ajayi
  • Publisher: Ouida Books
  • Number of pages: 69
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Poetry

Dami Ajayi’s second collection, A Woman’s Body Is a Country, endeavours to carve a niche in the corpus of Nigerian poetry. In this collection, there are questions of affection and there is suggestiveness, both digging into the subject of social delineation. The 47 poems in the volume bear parallels of sexual and suggestive tenors, blending one poem into another. Laced with philosophy, lyricism and passionate intensity, the collection covers, amongst other themes, the psychological trauma of life and the tortured sensibilities of two unknown darlings whose romance is shackled by heartbreak and death. More…

Colours for the Bright Young Ones

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People
  • Author: Tade Ipadeola
  • Publisher: Metamorphic Books and Consulting Services
  • Number of pages: 14
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Children

One of the easiest ways to pass on knowledge, particularly to young minds, is through poems. Poetry is the perfect blend of rhyme and rhythm, words that send a message in the briefest of ways. Poems appeal to all senses, particularly the senses of bright young people. In this collection of 14 poems titled Dreamrun: Poems for Bright Young People, Tade Ipadeola takes the reader on a journey of history, love, friendship and nature. In funny and engaging language, the collection provides entertaining and unique poetry for young readers. The young readers are also provided with indigenous content, relatable poems, and situations that they can easily find themselves in. In addition, the collection offers young readers an alternative to the popular poems they are used to, a break from ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and other such nursery rhymes. More…

Unrealistic Optimism in Hyginus Ekwuazi’s One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper.

By Uchenna Ekweremadu 


  • Title: One Day I’ll Dare to Raise My Middle Finger at the Stork and the Reaper
  • Author: Hyginus Ekwuazi
  • Publisher: SEVHAGE Publishers
  • Number of pages: 98
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

This slim volume of thirty-three poems, which was longlisted for the Nigeria NLNG Prize for Literature in 2017, is bound thematically by the three-ply cord of death, gloom and positive self-deception. Peering through the anguished eyes of the persona in the poems, the reader finds a world smeared with melancholy. And since such reality can be daunting, a reasonable diversion is to set up an alternative reality, even one that is unrealistically optimistic. More…