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  Jack Mapanje
Niyi Osundare
  Lauri Kubuitsile
  Peter Addo
  Kola Boof
  Nii Kwei Parkes

  Anietie Isong

  Chinelo Achebe-

  Akin Adesokan
  Tolu Ogunlesi

  Adaobi Tricia
  Eghosa Imasuen
  Mpalive Msiska
  Roi Kwabena

  Nnedi Okoroafor-

  George E. Clarke
  Kimyia Varzi
  Uche Nduka
  Amatoritsero Ede
  Obododimma Oha
  Leila Aboulela
  James Whyle
  Koye Oyedeji
  Becky Clarke
  Nike Adesuyi
  Derek Petersen
  Afam Akeh
  Olutola Ositelu
  V. Ehikhamenor
  Molara Wood
  Chime Hilary
  Wumi Raji
  Chuma Nwokolo



Niyi Osundare

Niyi Osundare

Osundare is Professor of English at University of New Orleans, USA, and one of the best-known poets from Africa. His works of published poetry include Songs of the Marketplace (1983), Village Voices (1984), A Nib in the Pond (1986), The Eye of the Earth (1986), which won both the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize and The Commonwealth Poetry Prize in its year of publication. He was also a recipient of the prestigious Folon/Nichols Award for ‘excellence in literary creativity combined with significant contributions to Human Rights in Africa’. Other published volumes of poetry include Songs of the Season (1987), Moonsongs (1988), Waiting Laughters (1990), Selected Poems (1992), Midlife (1993), The Word is an Egg (2000) and Tender Moments (2006). Niyi Osundare has also published four plays and essays on literature, politics and culture. Orality and performance are important features of his works, which have been translated into the Italian, French, Dutch, Czech, Slovenian, and Korean languages.


 Six Poems

Your love engulfs me
As the harmattan overwhelms the heat
I will pledge a thousand favours to the wind
To courier my voice to your ears

Adumaradan, come close to me
So you can behold the honour of my presence

Since the day I set eyes on you
Since the day I had a glimpse of your beauty
Your love has ridden me like a horse of wild winds
I cannot sleep; repose is far from my eyes

Adumaradan, come close to me
So you can behold the honour of my presence

Adumaradan of inestimable beauty
You are the palm oil, honour of the soup
You are the whiteness which proclaims the splendour of the teeth
You are camwood, deep red in the house of beauty

Adumaradan, come close to me
So you can behold the honour of my presence

What is the weaverbird’s work if not the building of wondrous nests
What is the crab’s task if not the digging of holes in the swamp
What job has the scarab beetle besides the music of the heights
What is the lover’s duty if not the pouring of honey into the ears of the beloved

Adumaradan, come close to me
So you can behold the honour of my presence

Teeth-whiter-than-new-coins, owner of the alluring toothgap
She of the bouncing buttocks, who-adorns-the-chest-with-breasts
Adufe**, paragon of beauty so full of wisdom
Come let’s play the game of the young and free

Adumaradan, come close to me
So you can behold the honour of my presence

* One-whose-blackness-is-the-beauty-of-her-skin
** The-one-for-whose-favour-the-world-competes


Have You seen her

Have you seen her
who opened my chest
and took my heart

of the wondrous eyes
and bouncing gaits

whose voice is sweeter
than the sound
of laughing waters

whose mind is
as sharp
as a fresh-honed proverb

Heart’s Eye View

Left Paris
Several heartthrobs ago

Past Madrid
Now flying over Marrakech

One fast sweep
Over the sprawling Sahara

And on to the angel
Waiting by the sea

Every wingstep brings me
Closer to your wondrous arms



Come tonight

Let’s meet in the elbow
Of the street
Skip all care

Breach all walls
Jump over the gutter
Of the moon

Come, sweetheart
Don’t forget to come
In our favourite skirt



The Longest Love Poem in the World





The sunflower folded up its petals
Patonmo* locked the door to
Its house of wonder

that day
you fell
like a book
from the shelf
of my mind

The moon, ever since,
Has not risen
From the same side
Of our sky

* Patonmo – a flower of the ‘Touch-Me-Not’ family.

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