ISBN 9789956558193
Pages 76
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2008
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Their Champagne Party Will End!

Poems in Honor of Bate Besong

edited by Joyce Ash, Dibussi Tande

Bate Besong was Cameroon’s most vocal and controversial poet, playwright and scholar, who died in March 2007. The poems in this collection are a tribute to the man and his work, and provide a snapshot of the mood that prevailed after his death. Bate Besong ushered in a new kind of nationalist “fighting” literature in Cameroon, unapologetic in its defense of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority and scathing in its denunciation of postcolonial African dictators and their foreign collaborators. These poems defy Bate Besong’s death by affirming that his impact as a writer lives on. 34 poems are included from 30 poets.

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“Moving and tellingly generous, these tributes attest to the value of Bate Besong as humanist, artist, and patriot; the ‘Inextinguishable Flame’ of his inspiration; the triumph of his life over the pain of his departure. Here is a resonant celebration not only of the brief but boisterously bright fire of one of our bravest writers, but also of the unbreakable chord of our common humanity. The refrains in these elegies are anthems of hope. The ink in their lines will for ever stay aglow.”

Niyi Osundare

“These poems put into perspective the essence of that Anglophone Cameroon literary icon, the fearless “Obasinjom Warrior” with the bemused smile, who once upon a time, was called Bate Besong.”

Ba’bila Mutia, Professor of Literature, ENS, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon
About the Editors

Joyce Ash

Dr. Joyce Ash is a poet, actress, creative writer and Associate Professor of English at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. She has appeared as an invited poet in many countries around the world, including England, Germany, Nicaragua, Greece, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bangladesh, Cameroon and USA. Her first book of poetry, A Basket of Flaming Ashes, was published to great acclaim. She has also contributed to several international anthologies of poetry, including Dhaka Anthology of World Poetry, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets, We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry from Africa and World Poetry Almanac 2011. A graduate of schools on three continents, Dr. Ash received a B.A in English with a minor in Theater Arts from the University of Yaoundé Cameroon; a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Aberystwyth, UK; and a PhD in English/African Literature from the City University of New York. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish and Bengali (Bangla).

Dibussi Tande

Dibussi Tande was born in 1968 in Buea, Cameroon. He obtained a “Licence” in Public law (1989) and a “Maitrise” in Political Science (1990) from the University of Yaounde. He also holds Masters degrees in Political Science and Instructional Technology from Northeastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University respectively. Before moving to the United States in 1993, he wrote for a host of leading Cameroonian newspapers. He was also an associate editor for Cameroon Today and Cameroon Life Magazine. He currently produces the leading Cameroonian blog, Scribbles from the Den, and writes for a variety of print and online journals. His poems have been published in several anthologies.

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