1.SONGS OF MYSELF QUARTET; by Tanure Ojaide
Songs of Myself: Quartet is deeply rooted in the indigenous African poetic tradition. The great udje poets first composed songs paying tribute to the god of songs, followed by songs of self-exhortation, and then songs mocking themselves before satirizing others. In its four-part structure, it deals with self-examination and the minstrel’s alter-ego as a way of attempting to know himself. So, there is self-mockery that justifies mocking others.
TANURE OJAIDE (Prof): A Fellow in writing of the University of Iowa, Tanure Ojaide was educated at the University of Ibadan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English, and at Syracuse University, where he received both M.A in creative writing and Ph. D in English. He has published 17 collections of poetry, three collections of short stories, two memoirs, four novels, and seven scholarly books. His literary awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (1987), the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry(1988,1997), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award(1988), and the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Award (1988,1994,2003,and 2011).
2. BLOOD STREAMS IN THE DESERT; by Abubakar Othman
In the new collection, Abubakar Othman paints images of despair, degradation and destruction as man attempts to master his universe. Blood Streams in the Desert is benumbing, chilling and frightening. The poet-prophet provides us with snippets of a looming apocalypse.
ABUBAKAR OTHMAN: Othman attended the University of Maiduguri and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He joined the teaching staff of the Department of English at the University of Maiduguri in 1983. He has also served in his home state as Commissioner, Special Adviser and Director -General. He also had a stint as Special Assistant to a former Executive Chairman of EFCC before returning to the Academia. He is back to the teaching profession at the University of Maiduguri Nigeria.
3.THE BIRTH OF ILLUSION; by Jumoke Verissimo
The Birth of Illusion jumps the gender divide with versatile metaphors, surprising the reader with an informed analysis of contemporary history from Abuja to Cairo and reaffirming that the best poets, like her, are feelers and doers. With a Keen eye, she claims loss, blood and love as the themes of The Birth of Illusion. Weaving these themes, she reveals an empathy and a proficiency that is tough, touching and above all, profound. (Toyin Adewale-Gabriel (Poet and Author, Naked Testimonies).
JUMOKE VERISSIMO: Holder of a BA Literature-in-English from the Lagos State University , and Master’s degree in African Studies from the University of Ibadan; Jumoke’s first collection, I am Memory, won the AWF/Carlos Idizia Ahmad first book Prize for Poetry 2009; Second Prize; AWF/Anthony Agbo Prize for Poetry 2009 and an Honorable Mention in the Association of Nigerian Authors (Poetry) Prize. She is a recipient of the Chinua Achebe Centre Fellowship. The Birth of illusion is her second book.
4. THE HERESAID; by Ikeogu Oke
With its Biblical cadences, The Heresiad sings with prophecy, wisdom and lament. The poet explores varied themes including censorship, the single-minded madness of extreme religious fundamentalism and the very nature of skepticism and independent thought. Oke handles heroic couplets like a master swordsman, whose rapier thrusts both provoke and excite. Thought is never a stagnant pool in this poet’s world.
(Excerpted from Don Burness (Author of Red Flower in the Sand).
IKEOGU OKE: Holder of a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar and an MA in Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikeogu Oke’s poems and other writings have been published in Nigeria, USA, UK and India since 1988. These have appeared in publications such as Unity Magazine, published by the Unity School of Christianity, Missouri; DISCOVERY, published in Braille by the John Milton Society for the Blind, New York; Prosopisia, the official journal of the Academy of raite*(s) And World Literati, Ajmer, India; and Happiness The Delight-Tree (2015), ‘An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry in honour of the International Day of Happiness’, published by the United Nations SRC Society of Writers, New York.
5.ECHOES OF NEGLECT; by Humphrey Ogu
This is Ogu’s second collection of poems and it confirms his prominent status among his peers.
(Gabriel Okara; poet laureate and Writer-in-Residence, University of Port Harcourt).
HUMPHREY OGU: An alumnus of Elechi Amadi School of Creative writing, Humphrey Ogu’s poems and short stories have appeared in literary publications such as ANA Review, Rivers of Treasure OJA: Journal of Arts and Culture and online literary Magazine and websites including Sentinel Nigeria magazine, blackbiroonline.com and lovepoetry.com. He holds a University of Ibadan degree in English, also did postgraduate programmes in English and literary Studies as well as Communication Studies at the University of Calabar and Port Harcourt respectively. He was one-time Acting Secretary of the Rivers State Branch of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and currently serves as its Public Relations Officer. He was also a co-founder and Pioneer Secretary of Seaview Poetry Society as well as Founding Editor of Pitakwa Review, an online literary magazine.
6. GARRI FOR BREAKFAST; by Seun Lari-Williams
In his collection of 53 poems, the author in simple but humorous language, talks about art, the heart, and the acts of humans.
SEUN LARI-WILLIAMS : A graduate of law from the university of Lagos, and one-time President of the UNILAG Law Society, Seun is described by Jonathan Olajide (a blogger) as a “wild poet, a rebellious mind that attracts the world and bundles all of life into tiny verses… He shows the battle that many contemporary poets fight every day, between trying to follow the rules of poetry and getting our young minds into the streets and curating drama in the mind of readers”. Son of the famous actor and poet, Lari Williams, Seun started writing poems since he was seven years old, and he states, “I was brought up by a Poet; my father… he turns everything to poems, and is always playing with words”.
7. OF WATERS and THE WILD; by Ebi Yeibo
The fecundity of the lines of Ebi Yeibo’s nature poetry is pleasantly arresting. The poet does not bend his knee to fashionable affectation but insists on a relentless plumbing of roots and branches and flowers towards a sincere search for the sound of sense… Of Waters and the Wild breaks bold grounds in the upper echelons of the poetry of commitment.
(Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, journalist and author of God of Poetry).
EBI YEIBO: Ebi was joint-winner of the ANA poetry Prize (2014) and the Issac Boro Prize for Niger Delta Literature (2008) and; received Honourable mention, Pat Utomi Book Prize for African Literature (2006) and ANA Poetry Prize(2005). He has also won the ANA Bayelsa State Poetry Prize (2008), ANA Delta State Poetry Prize (2003&2004) and ANA Oyo State Poetry Prize (2000). Educated at Abraka, Ibadan, Owerri. Ebi Yeibo teaches in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He is also author of The Fourth Masquerade (2014), Shadows of the Setting Sun (2012), The Forbidden Tongue (2007),A Song for Tomorrow (2003) and Maiden Lines (1997).
8. ICONOGRAPHY; by Peter Akinlabi
Peter Akinlabi’s poetry transports us back to the beginnings of poetry in chant and ritual, to a world where the word becomes a spell and metaphor is transformed into myth. Iconography enacts a highly allusive ritual of memory and history.
(Harry Garuba (Poet and Scholar, author of Shadow and Dream).
PETER AKINLABI: Akinlabi Peter’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Sentinel Quarterly, NT Lit. Mag., Saraba and Sentinel Nigeria. His chapbook, A Pagan Place, was included in the second edition of APBF’s 8 New Generation African Poets-A Chapbook Box set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani.
9. ONE DAY I’LL DARE TO RAISE MY MIDDLE FINGER AT THE STORK AND THE REAPER; by Hyginus Ekwuazi
Hyginus Ekwuazi ranks among the poets who dip their pen deep into that part of the human soul where even anguish is sublimated. He is a poet for whom the pen is, indeed, the tongue of the soul. (Su’eddie Vershima Agema; joint winner, ANA Prize for Poetry 2014).
HYGINUS EKWUAZI (Prof):He teaches Broadcasting and Film at Ibadan. His four earlier collections of poetry have been highly acclaimed; three among them have won significant prizes: Love Apart (Winner,ANA-Cadbury Prize 2007; nominated for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for literature,2009; winner, ANA-Gabriel Okara/NDDC Prize, 2007); Dawn into Moonlight (winner, ANA-Gabriel Okara/NDDC Prize 2008); That Other Country (winner, ANA-Cadbury Prize 2010); nominated for the (Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, 2012); and The Monkey’s Eye.
10. FOR EVERY HOMELAND; by Obari Gomba
In For Every Homeland, Gomba offers revelations that tackle arrogance and tyranny in all of their hideous incarnations. Gomba’s characteristic playfulness, wrapped in duality, is ever-present, yet this collection is tempered by a sober assessment of the political and personal themes he chooses to address… the poetry is neither abstruse nor pedestrian. Instead, Gomba presents an earnest, if at times ironic, perspective of humanity in all of its frailty. (Andres alfaro (2017 US National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literary Translation).
OBARI GOMBA (Dr) : An honorary Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa, USA, Gomba teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. His poetry collections include Thunder Protocol (Winner of ANA Poetry Prize 2016), Length Eyes (longlisted for Nigeria Prize for Literature ;and finalist for ANA Poetry Prize in 2013), and Pearls of the Mangrove (adopted as a ‘Book of the Festival ‘ in 2011 by the Garden City Literary Festival).
11. A GOOD MOURNING; by Ogaga Ifowodo
The core of Ifowodo’s fourth volume of poetry is his reflections on the intimacy of evil, anchored in the brazen military annulment in 1993 of the will of the Nigerian to self-representation, echoed in other festering sores of the African continent and beyond. Experimental and traditional all at once, Ifowodo craftily draws the reader into the dark recesses of the mind, where he warns, that which menaces the world, which “secretes the slow brooks of bitter blood, feeds the dream of murder”, lies hitched to every heart.
OGAGA IFOWODO (Dr): Lawyer, poet, columnist, rights activist, Ogaga has previously published three prize-winning books of poetry; Homeland and other poems, Madiba, and The Oil Lamp. He holds an MFA and Ph.D from Cornell and taught writing at Texas State University. His poems have been widely published in anthologies and magazines, including Voices from all Over: Poems with Notes and Activities, The Times literary Supplement, Poetry International, The Massachusetts Review, Crazyhouse, The Dalhouise Review, and Migrations, an Afro-Italian anthology selected by Wole Soyinka for the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.