Monthly Archives : September 2016

ISSUE #7


Cover Picture by TJ Benson Cover Design by Bard Studio  Guest Editor’s Note – Gbenga Adesina Poetry: Afghan Refugee by Rohan Chhetri The Size of Grief by Lydia Kasese Five Stations for Various by Richard Ali Portrait of My Mother as a Child by Jessica Marion Modi what is the boy who drags his solitudes outdoors by Peter Akinlabi Emily…






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Guest Editor’s Note – Gbenga Adesina


I’m always looking for a way to return to myself. Roland Barthes writing in Mourning Diary said:“[I feel] embarrassed and almost guilty because sometimes I feel my mourning is merely a susceptibility to emotions. But all my life haven’t I been just that: moved?” At a recent poetry reading, I eavesdropped on a woman say to her partner after a…






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Afghan Refugee by Rohan Chhetri


From her shoulder blade the background softens, where her scarf, once-draped over her head, vanishes into a green eel of silence. Something tells me this was hurried. Her running behind a gaggle of school girls she hasn’t learnt the names of yet- always the slow one-when she was beckoned. A land in its plea has spilled its mood of calamity…






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The Size of Grief by Lydia Kasese


My mother carries a bone on her back too heavy to latch on our sorrows. On most nights we can hear her crying loudly into her pillow, Her teeth biting on her tongue willing it not to come to life, And bring back all those it had lost. We watch her from a distance too afraid to say anything, That…






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Sanctificum by Chris Abani – Chekwube O. Danladi


TITLE: SANCTIFICUM AUTHOUR: CHRIS ABANI PUBLISHER: COPPER CANYON PRESS PUBLICATION DATE: 2016 GENRE: POETRY NO OF PAGES: 356 FORMAT: PAPERBACK   Committed to ritual, to invocation, Chris Abani’s Sanctificum calls for a transcendence of emotional potential, encourages its reader to become unhinged in its exploration of loss and remembering, of movement and stasis. This is a text that teaches, that…






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Maybe This is How I die by Rumbi Makanga


Maybe this is how I die. It’s past midnight and there is no one else around. The darkness has a sweetness to it, like the smell of earth right after the rain has fallen. I want to lick the pavement. I want to run off the beach, maybe even throw my clothes off on the way, and go kiss the…






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(C) Writivism/CACE

Five Stations for Various by Richard Ali


I Flame Lines Lying there, I set fire to your bed Flame lines around you, curl heat of ink Watch you turn your torso, see in the mirror a bird Earth flown, goddess born, writhing, mazariyya—dragon bird! I come to your myths with lies of my own—these Dross of my story. You whispered in my ears once What impels herdsmen,…






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Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim – Opeyemi Razak Oyadiran


TITLE: SEASON OF CRIMSON BLOSSOMS AUTHOR: ABUBAKAR ADAM  IBRAHIM PUBLISHER: PARRESIA YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2015 GENRE: FICTION FORMAT: PAPERBACK NO OF PAGES: 320   Abubakar’s debut novel opens rather jarringly into the confluence of societal and religious obligations (restrictions?), political discord and its agents, the much ignored trauma of survivors of religious clashes, all revolving around  a taboo love trying…






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Portrait of My Mother as a Child by Jessica Marion Modi


As if she’s about to tell a secret from her childhood, or mine. Lips almost open, scrunched brow, suspicious of someone looking at her this way. Hanging from pointy shoulders, her dress preserves marks from her mother’s disciplined ironing, straight creases down to her dirty, white sneakers. She balances on the toe of one foot, heel of the other. Arms…






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Interrogating a Continent’s Rhythm: Conversation with Three Illuminating Voices


Titilope Sonuga, Nigeria’s inaugural poet laureate, curator of the hugely successful SoulFest “Becoming” and Intel “She Will Connect” Ambassador combines the capacity for heightened utterance with an urbane cheekiness. Harriet Anena, Ugandan poet and short story writer bursts into the continent’s consciousness with her first book of poems, “A NATION IN LABOUR” and her fierce performance piece, “I BOW FOR…






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Blackass by A. Igoni Barret – Opeyemi Razak Oyadiran


TITLE: BLACKASS AUTHOR: A. IGONI BARRET PUBLISHER: GRAYWOLF PUBLICATION DATE: MARCH 1 2016 GENRE: FICTION FORMAT: PAPERBACK NO OF PAGES: 272 Blackass is a boisterous dark comedy  filled with satirical insights on contemporary Nigeria that is pure Igoni, race, social media and its shallowness and mockery of the duplicity that is human nature, all set in the Lagos, the metropolis…






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what is the boy who drags his solitudes outdoors by Peter Akinlabi


(for yomi ogunsanya) what is the boy who drags his solitudes outdoors, setting up a garden in a skeined place, where he skims books in proximate images. he imagines, there, in a memory a little bit different, he might unlearn the swaddling language of early traumas, and walk the knotted shadows to light. in dreams, he often returns to pain…






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The Hate Artist by Niran Okewole – Gbenga Adesina


TITLE: THE HATE ARTIST AUTHOR: NIRAN OKEWOLE PUBLISHER: KHALAM EDITIONS YEAR OF PUBLICATION DATE: 2015 GENRE: POETRY NO OF PAGES: 67 FORMAT: PAPER BACK   Let us begin, I suggest with Wallace Stevens. Writing in The Necessary Angel he said: “Poetry itself, the naked poem is the imagination manifesting itself in its domination of words”. Enter Niran Okewolein 39 poems…






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Emily As We Test the Mammals by Darren C. Demaree


If Emily is the bones & the muscles & the good synapses, then I must be the hesitation, the pose before the searching ends. I must be what makes us more & less than the others.     Darren C. Demaree is the author of five poetry collections, most recently “The Nineteen Steps Between Us” (2016, After the Pause Press).…






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Via Casa by Robert Gibbons


Think of the long trip home—Elizabeth Bishop I came a long way to get to Harlem, From grandma’s chuck of Indian corn, born Of the sugar ditch, the pitch at midnight Alligators and panthers with eyes of the soul. Was told of the many that died from arthritis and Diabetes, the dialysis of peonage, born of migrant Hands, aluminum pans…






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19 Ghazal Street by Laura Kaminski – D.M. Aderibigbe


TITLE: 19 GHAZAL STREET AUTHOR: LAURA KAMINSKI ( HALIMA AYUBA) PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 30 2016 GENRE: POETRY FORMAT: PAPERBACK, CHAPBOOK NO OF PAGES: 34 In my formative years as a poet (I’m still in that stage though), I was resistant to lesser known forms such as Ghazal. As a matter of fact, I didn’t fancy…






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Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong – Okwudili Neobolisa


TITLE: NIGHT SKY WITH EXIT WOUND AUTHOR: OCEAN VUONG PUBLISHER: COPPER CANYON PRESS PUBLICATION DATE:APRIL 5, 2016 GENRE: POETRY FORMAT: PAPERBACK NO OF PAGES: 70   Ocean Vuong gives, in this first collection of his, the immediate feeling of wanting to melt, with stark images and a rawness that possess a sort of particularity, something of a trademark that can…






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The Portrait of an Elegant Feminist By Noah Oladele


In Africa, there is a misconstruction of the word, ‘feminism’; an empirical misplacement of the meaning, probably because of the intricacies of our society, cultures and some aspects of our religions which are a complete antithesis of what the word means. It is widely acceptable and justifiable for a man to marry more than a wife, if he pleases; the…






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Giving Head by Kechi Nomu


Overnight this world becomes full of smiling people and I take you by hand to a room because it means nothing and because at some point you’ll hear me say this in a dream: I have been sore for days, years between trying to repeat a 90s love song for mood and conjuring a decade with its sea of hearts…






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Known And Strange Things by Teju Cole – Gbenga Adesina


TITLE: KNOWN AND STRANGE THINGS AUTHOR:  TEJU COLE PUBLISHER: RANDOM HOUSE PUBLICATION DATE: AUGUST 9, 2016 GENRE: ESSAYS NO OF PAGES: 393 FORMAT: PAPER BACK   If you are a “reader of every single word” (Petina Gappah has a great review here on that) then Teju Cole’s new book, Known and Strange Things, gives you a “sense of return rather…






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Just Another Moonless Night by Rachel Heimowitz


Chugging for home to the boat-engine’s dying cough and sputter, five of us alone together, in the deepest part of a moonless night, 18° North of the equator, under a Milky Way so thick you could pour it into a glass. My father, his loud, black shadow haloed against the night, ranting at the stars: his shitty boat, shitty life,…






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