ISBN 9789780231989
Pages 144
Dimensions 203 x 127 mm
Published 2006
Publisher Malthouse Press, Nigeria
Format Paperback

In the House of Words

by Tanure Ojaide

In his new collection, Nigeria’s leading poet and literary scholar reflects on social and political themes, popular culture and the impact of technology on tradition, religious evangelism in the indigenous culture, environmental degradation, home, migration and return. He introduces his work thus:

In the House of Words was inspired by my absence from family and friends in Charlotte and the United States, and the new environment I came home to in Nigeria. The return easily brought reminisces which kindled the imagination into poetic flights. I quested for experiences that would give colour and flavour to my songs… Wearing the mask of a homeboy minstrel, the homeboy “rediscovers” his home… There were also recollections of where I left… The homeboy is always aware of the larger Nigerian nation and the entire universe that all impact on him in a global age.'

The poems are different stations of a journey back into childhood, into the homeland, into the primeval world from which the poet earlier “exiled” himself and now seeks to be re- immersed in. It is a poetic quest, a rediscovery of self and others and the shaping of a new humanity from the postcolonial chaos of not just the Niger Delta but the whole world.”

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About the Author

Tanure Ojaide

A renowned poet, Tanure Ojaide has won major national and international poetry awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (1987), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award (1988), twice the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry (1988 and 1997), and thrice the Association of Nigerian Authors' Poetry Prize (1988, 1994 and 2004. In 2016 Ojaide was awarded the the prestigious Fonlon-Nichols Award at the 42nd annual African Literature Association (ALA) conference in Atlanta.

For Tanure Ojaide, "the creative writer is never an airplant, but someone who is grounded in some specific place. It is difficult to talk of many writers without their identification with place. Every writer's roots are very important in understanding his or her work." He has read from his poetry in different fora in Africa, Britain, Canada, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, and the United States. Some of his poems have been translated into Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and French. He is currently the Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Visit Tanure Ojaide's website here:

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