Amatoritsero Ede; Globetrotter
Amatoritsero Ede was born in Nigeria. He is a former Hindu monk of the Hare Krishna persuasion. A former editor with Spectrum Books, he has been published in Nigerian literary newspapers and in the Nigerian arts journal “Olongo” as well as the international journals “Versal” and “Drumvoices Revue”. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies, including Voices from the Fringe: An ANA Anthology of New Nigerian Poetry Harry Garuba ed. (Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1988), The Fate of Vultures : BBC Prize-Winning Poetry, Peter Porter et al eds. (Oxford: Heinemann International, 1989), Und auf den Strassen eine Pest Uche Nduka ed. (Bad Honnef, Germany: Horlemann Verlag, 1996) May Ayim Award Anthology Peggy Piesche et al eds. (Berlin: Orlanda Verlag, 2004), Camouflage : Best of Contemporary Nigerian Writing Nduka Otiono ( Yenogoa, Nigeria: Treasure Books, 2006) and TOK , Book 1: Writing the New Toronto Helen Walsh ed. (Toronto: Zephyr Press, 2006). Amatoritsero won the runner-up prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors's (ANA) Poetry Competition in 1993, the 1998 ANA All Africa Christopher Okigbo Prize for Literature (endowed by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka) for Collected Poems : A Writer's Pains & Caribbean Blues (Bremen, Germany: Yeti Press, 1998) and, in 2004, the second prize in the first May Ayim Award: International Black German Literary Prize. He is currently writer-in-residence in Ottawa's Carleton University under the auspices of PEN Canada's Writers-in-Exile Network. He is editor of sentinel poetry journal.
Amatoritsero is a lightning rod of African sensibilities in rarefied Canada. In Globetrotter, he brings wide-open eyes and a taciturn tongue to perspectives gleaned from a sojourn through Europe and North America. I like the nimble images - Europeans who are yet to ford the Atlantic pond already know Toronto: she is 'amsterdam/ adrift at sea'! And then, there are the irreverent lines that sees 'soyinka's hair' in the woolly mane of a gruff, arthritic winter. There's excitement and suprise here...
and that's poetry.
it breathes the open atlantic
is that snow on his head
as we sit in deusseldorf
tears long as a calendar year
and look where the streetcar has left a scar
what does the endless
i am wide open
flirting foolishly with the horizon
the red-light flashes
to gaze at lovers
heavy with love and its weights
amongst the ruin and jazz
steps outside of troy
because a girl smells better…
where all colours meet.
...it breathes the open atlantic ...
...where lines and angles blur
and bend into mist...
"Globetrotter" was first published in
TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Helen Walsh ed.
(Toronto: Zephyr press, 2006). Click image to buy.
©2006 Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.
| Top |