ISBN 9789956727391
Pages 68
Dimensions 203 x 127 mm
Published 2012
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

A Fallen Citadel and Other Poems

by Imali J. Abala

A Fallen Citadel and Other Poems is a powerful collection of over forty prose poems.  The poems cover an array of issues ranging from the crisis that ensued after the 2007-2008 elections in Kenya to other social issues:  loss of identity, poverty, hopelessness, and AIDs. These poems are powerful, vivid, full of imagery, and delightful.  Some begin tragically, but end with hope; they begin with an everyday event, but end with a philosophical question about the meaning of life; and others are not only disturbing, but also thought provoking. Abala’s poetic maneuvers in this collection are bound to delight and fascinate any reader.

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“These hard-hitting poems suggest that for Dr. Abala, the only hope for Kenya’s future resides in an honest, unflinching artistic rendering of the daily nightmare that has usurped the place of a glorious dream of African independence that the Mau Mau once gave the world. [….] Of course, art cannot change reality; but, sometimes it can change the souls of people who have this power and responsibility.”

James N. Upton, PhD, Emeritus Faculty, Ohio State University, USA

“In A Fallen Citadel and Other Poems, Imali J. Abala reminds us that poetry can still do what it has always done: offer hope, insight, and consolation where there often seems to be none. These poems—part jeremiad, part manifesto—straddle the divide between lamentation and prayer, and many of Abala’s most striking images capitalize on this duality: [….] It’s hard not to think of the work of Nazim Hikmet and Mahmoud Darwish—exiles attempting from afar to rebuild the fallen citadels they left behind. And as rival ethnic groups are re-arming in anticipation of further violence around the 2013 elections, Abala’s clarion voice (“Save the bullet. Save your soul.”) couldn’t come at a better time.”

Jeremy Glazier, MFA Associate Professor of English, Ohio Dominican University, USA

About the Author

Imali J. Abala

Imali J. Abala was born in 1962 in Kerongo Village, Vihiga, Kenya. She is a Professor in the Department of English at Ohio Dominican University. She is the author of three novels: The Dilemma of Jahenda the Teenage Mother (2010), The Disinherited (2007) and Move on, Trufosa (2006). She has devoted her writing to exploring social issues in contemporary Kenya, ranging from women’s quest for self-definition, the never-ending conflict between tradition and modernity, and, most importantly, the profound effects of AIDs on families and society.

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