amethystsaw

All quirky stories, series and thoughts on what I am reading published here.

YELF Literary Evening with Daisy Odey

August 31st, 2019 from past 4pm till 6pm under grey skies at Creativity Court (No. 21, Mallam Isa Hassan Road, Ungwan Dosa, Kaduna State), I enjoyed delightful poetry and conversations.

L-R: Shittu Fowora, Daisy Odey

Daisy Odey is a Nigerian poet and performer from Jos, Nigeria. Her poems have appeared in Aké Review, Kalahari Review, Enkare Review, Saraba Afridiaspora, Praxis Magazine’s International Women’s Day Anthology 2017, and other publications. She has performed poetry across Nigeria. She is also initiator/team lead Jos Poetry Slam (JSP) movement and cofounder, Custodians of African Literature (COAL). Connect with her on Instagram.

And so I’m asking.

I’m asking, where is heaven?

Heaven is where rainbows begin and end

in a river of glass

-Once Upon a Time performed by Daisy Odey

On Poetry and Writing by Daisy

  • Daisy says she doesn’t write in a place of intense emotion because she will have a jumble to come back to whenever. I’ve noticed this jumble with some of my story drafts. So I write, leave them and come back.
  • I don’t force a poem.
  • Writing doesn’t belong to Africans alone. If its dying, we are killing it. African writers give the pulse of their reality
  • Feminism is a verb and not a noun. “I was my mother’s daughter before I wore my father’s name.”Feminist, Fragments In A Closet
  • I write creative nonfiction, essays or short stories to explore new themes. Then, can I write these in poetry.
  • The only way to learn how to write is by writing. The only way to know what to write about is to read and read.

Tongues tied with grief forget the language of prayer.

Heavy hearts do not carry love.

Some questions are always hungry,

like:

“Is there a god worthy of war?”

Fragments, Fragments In a Closet

Book Chat and Spoken word

Shittu Fowora, the book chat convener, asked questions about writing, the chapbook’s themes and creativity. His questions gave Daisy the opportunity to give unique answers. He also talked about how drawn he was to the quote from Ben Okri (If you look too closely, everything breaks your heart) in Body Count. He asked her about the reoccurrence of Water and reference to Oshun in her chapbook. She said she simply wrote and later found out Oshun— Yoruba goddess of feminity, creativity, love– was connected to water.

Water saturates Odey’s text; water is in titles–“How to Make A River”, “Life Is Water”, “Falling for a River”–water is in the theme, subject matter, character, and narrative development, and of course, in the imagery.

-Hope Wabuke, from Preface.

Her favourite poem is Peacemaker. She performed a version different from that in the book. I loved it! Check out Karatu Books to buy this book and other interesting books.

Besides, a part of Fragments she read out. Other poems she performed weren’t from her new chapbook. Daisy Odey is a known performance poet in Kaduna for some years. Shittu and the audience wanted some of her old poems like Murgag and Once Upon A Time.

Murgag would say we are Angels

We have wings buried within us

But like butterflies we must melt into those wings

We must die to fly ……..

-Murgag performed by Daisy Odey

Watch her applauded performances here..

Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation Library.

Did I mention heavy, windy rain fell before the book chat and just after it ended? It was fun grabbing our chairs off the lawn and running into and beside the building. Getting drizzled on made me giddy though. I also enjoyed poetry performances bytwo young women and two girls from the children creative writing workshop held earlier in the day.

I hope I have time to visit Creativity Court again before leaving Kaduna. If you’re interested a vibrant, engaging literary community in Kaduna. Every last Saturday of the month you can visit Creativity Court (address above) for meets!

Thanks for reading!

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ALitFest 2019

I attended ALitFest 2019 hosted by the Abuja Literary Society from 11th-13th of July 2019 at Exhibition Pavilion, Area 10, Garki.

The festival had creative guests, writers, bookstores, literary enthusiasts, vendors enjoy Panel discussions, Book Reading, Wedlock of the Gods stage adaptation, Arts auction, Poetry slam and Music performance.

My friends, Amaka, Logan, Tolu were guests of the festival. I was esctactic hugging and laughing with them and also watching them on panels.

“The 21st Century Nigerian man is learning everyday how to be human.”-Tolu Daniel

Panelist, The 21st Century Nigerian man #ALitFest19

Poetry Slam

I attended a little part of the interesting Poetry Slam, the evening of 12th July. From social commentary poems to a scintillating erotic poem about Banga soup to poems about betrayal to love poems. Two volunteers from Lipfest18 were in the poetry slam with lyrical poems. I shared videos in my I.G story highlights.

Panel Discussions

Saturday 13th, I attended 4 panel discussions, 2 in full and 2 in part. I unlearned, released and learnt.

“We have a wrong perception of a sexual perpetrator, it isn’t a man but a human. A victim is human.” -Dorothy

Panelist, #NigeriaToo- Sexual Harrassment in Nigeria’s public & private spaces

The 21st Century Nigerian man is a man who is constantly at war with himself and at war with the society. Self actualization is important for this man but in the context of family -Michael

Writer and Comment made from audience.

Art Auction

I also networked, walked through the Art Auction and discussed with two artists.

Bookstores and Book shopping

Logan February was kind to autograph my copy of his full length poetry collection.

Books at the RovingHeights Bookstore stand.

The Booksellers Limited stand

I shopped these two books for my dear reader and divalicious friend who values my recommendations. She wanted more African Queer Fiction after reading Stab Love with Flower Stalks. I got autographed copies of ‘In The Nude’ by Logan February and ‘Lákíríboto Chronicles’ by Ayodele Olofintuade. I worked within her budget also!

New Friends!

It was a delight getting introduced to Ope Adedeji, creative non-fiction writer and TJ Benson, writer and author. I met Fatima and her sister. Also Onyinye who were great conversationalists and fellow literary enthusiasts.

If you can attend any literary festival, please do!