Friday, 13 December 2013

Black Communion (Poems of the New African Poets) is an anthology of poems by the new age African poets. It was published by artbeat Afrika , a society of contemporary African writers and poets, with members across Africa and friends around the world, artbeat Afrika aims to showcase the new African writer and poet, his talent and work to the world. Black Communion is aimed at showcasing to Africa and the world the work and talents of 'the new Africa poet'.

This collection of poems boasts ninety-three contributors (of which I am one of them for my poem, Conspiracy in Death) from seven African countries; viz,

1. Kenya
2. Nigeria
3. South Africa
4. Ghana
5. Zimbabwe
6. Botswana
7. Uganda

The editor, Wale Owoade, the founder of artbeat Afrika, has chosen to present the authors without assessing their origin, message or fame. He has rather focused on stitching their poems together in a literary patchwork of talents, held together by the threads of ten themes. They range from God and nature to dream, despair or death, from peace to poverty, from African traditions to love or black thinking, among others. All the poems share a distinctly African ring, whether they take the shape of elegies, fables, dirges, or any other form of poetry of free-flowing or more classical construction. The poems display a seminal combination of native and world cultures.

“Cry me, Poetry!” exclaims one. I have “my heart in my head”, explains another poet: all these potent voices combine to express that their souls are “of cotton woven with gold”.

Chinua Achebe advised “the African writer should…aim at fashioning out an English which is at once unusual and able to carry his peculiar experience” *. The poets in this anthology precisely strike the reader’s mind with their particular, empowering language, which makes it manifest Africa is definitely taking hold of her own destiny.

Click here to buy on Selz.


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