(Featured photo above: Amina Aboje)
The Nuts and Bolts series – by the Abuja Writers Forum, focuses on the craft of poetry for the August 29 edition, via Zoom from 6-8pm Nigerian Time,with four notable poets: Amina Aboje (Nigeria), Patricia Keeney (Canada), Vivek Narayanan (India) and Archie Swanson(South Africa).
Born in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Amina Aboje had her primary education in the beautiful city of Buguma, one of the many towns in the Kalabari Kingdom. She holds a first degree in Biochemistry and concluding work on a post-graduate degree at the Nasarawa State University ,Keffi . Her interest in writing was birthed when she discovered the delight of reading as a little girl. Amina expresses herself in both poetry and prose.
Her short stories have featured in some online literary journals like Dugwe and Lunaris Review. Her poems and short stories have severally topped the Abuja Writers’ Forum Writing Challenge series. In 2016, she won the Mandela Day Poetry Prize. She’s also the third place winner (in the poetry category) of the maiden edition of the Communicators League writing contest. Amina is one among several poets featured in the Best New African Poets 2017 Anthology. She is the author of Promises on Sand, a collection of poems focused on the many intricacies of life and the disturbing issue of corruption in politics.
Ms Aboje who is an independent editor, also finds pleasure in teaching poetry. She works and lives in Abuja, Nigeria.
Patricia Keeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, theatre and literary critic. The author of ten books of poetry and two novels, her writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese and Hindi. Her latest poetry volume, Orpheus in Our World (NeoPoiesis) connects ancient Greek lyrics with contemporary theatrical dialogue.
Her latest novel One Man Dancing (Inanna) is a story of Africa, politics, art and personal survival set on the world stage. She describes her next novel, Emptiness and Angels as a fusion of Biblical mystery, feminist satire and spiritual quest. Keeney is a longtime professor of Literature, Humanities and Creative Writing at Toronto’s York University. Website: wapitiwords.ca
Vivek Narayanan was born in India in 1972 to Tamil-speaking parents; since then, he has lived, worked and studied in a number of countries, including Zambia, South Africa, and the U.S. where he currently teaches at GMU.
Vivek Narayanan’s two full-length books of poems are Universal Beach and Life and Times of Mr S. His honors include fellowships in poetry at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and at the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library. A collection of his selected poems was published in Swedish in 2015 by the Stockholm-based Wahlström & Widstrand. He is co-editor of Almost Island, a nine-year-old India-based journal, literary organization, and publisher. He has also been an Associate Editor for the poetry annual Fulcrum.
Apart from his published poetry, Narayanan has conducted experiments with performance, technology, physical space, movement, site-specific poetry and audience interaction, through collaborations with other artists. He is the Co-editor of Almost Island and has worked in Delhi with Sarai-CSDS
Archie Swansonis a South African poet with three collections of poems to his credit— the stretching of my sky(2018), the shores of years(2019) and beyond a distant edge (2021).
His poems have been published in the long standing South African poetry publications, Stanzas and New Contrast as well as the Best New African Poetry Anthologies (2015-2020), Experimental Writing: Africa vs Latin America (2017), Vol. 1&2 of Africa vs North America (2018; 2019) and Writing Robotics: Africa vs Asia Vol 2 (2020).
In 2017 his poems were listed for the South African Sol Plaatje Award and the United Kingdom based Bridport Prize. His poetry has been included in the Patricia Schonstein curated anthologies, Absolute Africa! (2018), Naturally Africa! (2020) and the McGregor Anthologies (2014-2020). His poem ‘déjà vu’ was the inspiration for Grant McLachlan’s composition for clarinet, violin, and piano, from the direction it should depart, performed at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town (2019).
He also wrote the words for a choral piece composed by Grant McLachlan and entitled Intombazana, to be performed at the 2020 World Choir Games. Poems, translated into Spanish, were published in the South American literary journal Libero America (2020) and ‘Afourer’ was selected for Clemengold Poetry Writing (2020).
His poem, ‘my Guernica’ placed second in the South African AVBOB Poetry Competition (English/2019) which receives more than 30,000 entries per year. The poem ‘dogs sleeping’ will be published in the September 2021 issues of Calabash, the online bi-annual literary writing magazine of the National Writers’ Association of South Africa (NWASA). He has been a regular guest poet at the weekly open mic Off the Wall Poetry gathering in Cape Town, the monthly Cape Town Central Library Poetry Circle as well as the annual McGregor Poetry Festivaland the Prince Albert Lees Fees festivals, in South Africa.
He serves on the Board of the SA Literary Journal which publishes the South African quarterly creative writing magazine, New Contrast. He lives in George in the Western Cape of South Africa. He has a Masters Degree in Agri-Management from the University of Stellenboch. He has four daughters, is a keen surfer and is involved in fruit exports. www.instagram.com/poetarchie
Kabura Zakama who is a poet, veterinarian, international development and humanitarian practitioner, will be the anchorman.
The Zoom details for the event are –
Meeting ID: 898 4069 7086
Meeting Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89840697086?fbclid=IwAR2pnKpL9havO4MoCIBBXh1GXuNvf8XEeuTC0xzaMjqWMX523PRM8FH_oVs#success
▪︎ By A.D.Dabra, Publicity Secretary, AWF