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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



The Comet Cometh

As might be expected it has been hard work following up what our readers generously consider the outstanding debut issue of . We had to show we were ‘for real’ and in the business to stay, and we think we are making that statement with this bigger and richer second issue. We are offering our readers more of the good stuff they have come to expect from , introducing new writers but also featuring the new work of some notable writers in the Literatures of the African peoples.

Photo: © countycare images


The editorial theme this month is Black and African Writing in Britain. Like all other immigrant literatures in Britain, this is often referred to as Black British Literature but not everyone involved would agree that both mean the same thing. There are those who don’t see any ‘African’ in ‘Black British’. Others would, however, dispute our separation of the word ‘Black’ from ‘African’, while some would simply scorn our persistence in pursuing the very theme itself. That is the nature of the challenge we set ourselves this month. We are not expecting that these longstanding difficulties and disputes associated with our theme will be resolved by our intervention. We expect indeed that the new eyes with which we are seeing this old subject will somehow inform and complicate it further, renewing interest and inquiry in the area. Mpalive Msiska, Malawian poet and scholar of Black and African writing in Britain, is one of those contributing essays on the theme in this issue, and we focus on it in our provocative ‘Profile’.

Regarding useful link-people and experienced facilitators in Britain’s Black literary community/ies there are few better placed than Becky Ayebia Clarke, so we decided to interview her in order to better inform ourselves with some of her experience. The other interesting interview was conducted for us by Wumi Raji, Nigerian poet and scholar, He interviewed Derek Peterson of Cambridge African Studies. Other interesting introductions we are making to our readers in this issue include Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, whose debut novel will be published by Hyperion, USA, Akin Adesokan, author of Roots in the Sky, Dike Chukwumerije, who writes from Scotland, the South African actor and screenwriter James Whyle, and Lauri Kubutsile, who writes from Botswana. We welcome Kola Boof, writing from the USA but as African as they come, and also Courttia Newland and Nii Kwei Parkes, two prominent Black British writers. With Eusebius McKaiser’s sardonic humour as guide we should be laughing and rolling through the new South Africa. But will we? There are probably enough published volumes of poetry and more than enough teaching experience between our contributors Niyi Osundare and Jack Mapanje to inspire and inform many doctoral dissertations on African poetry. In anticipation of our next issue, which focuses on South African writing, we offer a provocative reading of Coetzee, Roy Campbell and Nadine Gordimer by Obi Iwuanyanwu, who writes as Obiwu, Director of The Writing Centre at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, in the US.

A surfeit of riches. That is how we hope our readers will see African Writing in its second issue. And we hope you will be sufficiently moved to assist our new Readership Survey with the required information. We want to serve you better. Send any letters or reactions inspired or provoked by African Writing and we will publish them. This issue of  is also a visual feast. Victor Ehikhamenor, a notable Nigerian artist in the US, debuts in our pages this month. Kimya Varzi and Chime Hilary also brighten our pages with their images, and our new Gallery opens with photographs from journalist and writer, Molara Wood. There is a Quiz, our £1500 African Writing Prize for Poetry, drama from Caine Prize winner, Leila Aboulela, previously broadcast by the BBC, more poetry from Uche Nduka, Amatoritsero Ede, George Elliot Clarke, a major voice in Canadian poetry, and a tribute to the great Nigerian poet, Christopher Okigbo, who was recently celebrated in America at an international conference. Then there are the book reviews, African Writing’s recommended reading list, and more…. enough reading and information indeed to keep you sated, we hope, for all the two months interval between issues now necessary for our operations to find the time, space and material needed to maintain and guarantee our level of excellence. This issue then is for October-November 2007. It will be followed by a December-January holiday theme issue, which will also focus on writing in South Africa. Birthday salutations to our Nigerian readers and contributors for their 47th independence anniversary (1 October, 2007). Welcome to African Writing.


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