On 30 March, the American publisher Animal Heart Press released an anthology of Nigerian poetry, titled Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry and edited by Adedayo Agarau – poet, documentary photographer, and human nutritionist – who was in an interview with us last year. Agarau says of the collection:
Nigeria—a country of contrasts. Incredible beauty. Incredible pain. Love, loss, facelessness and the struggle for identity. From this study in contrasts comes a collection of poems from established and emerging contemporary Nigerian voices. Surprising, bittersweet, lilting, angry, and mournful in turns, this anthology captures the vast poetic talent that has its roots in Nigeria’s soil.
The collection features a mix of both established new voices and much newer voices. There are poems in the collection from Dami Ajayi, A Woman’s Body Is a Country; Gbenga Adesina, Painter of Water; Jumoke Verissimo, Nome Emeka Patrick, O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, Okwudili Nebeolisa, Sillerman Book Prize finalists, Itiola Jones, and Daisy Odey.
Most remarkably, we are excited to see the collection feature works from poets whose works have been published here: Pèlúmi Sàlàkó, Tobi Abiodun, Michael Akuchie, Dipe Jola, Pamilerin Jacob, Precious Arinze, and Precious Okpechi.
The list of featured poets continues with J.K. Anowe, Jide Badmus, Hussain Ahmed, Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu, Chisom Okafor, Bola Opaleke, Wale Ayinla, Ojo Taiye, Olajide Salawu, Okwudili Nebeolisa, Ejiofor Ugwu, Njoku Nonso S., Su’eddie Vershima Agema, Anointing Obuh, D.M. Aderibigbe, Logan February, Rabiu Temidayo, Adesina Ajala, Jakky Bankong-Obi, Abdulbaseet Yusuff, Ayobami Adesina, Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye, Sadiq Abdulsalam Adeiza, Onyedikachi Chinedu, Olakitan Aladesuyi, Ernest O. Ògúnyemí, Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola, Mayowa Martins Oyewale, Chukwunonso S. Nzewi, Temiloluwa Okanmiyo Oluyemi, Som Adedayor, Hussani Abdulrahim Adeniran, Nome Emeka Patrick, O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, and Kolawole Samuel Adebayo.