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Gbenga Adesina first came under our radar in 2014 when he submitted a poem titled “Rediscovery,” a beautiful piece that we went on to publish. He continued writing and getting his work out there in various platforms. As it happens for hardworking and talented writers, Adesina is finally on the road to the success of which most writers dream.  A few months ago, he emerged co-winner of the prestigious Brunel University African Poetry Prize [read here if you missed it].

Just two weeks ago, something else happened that had us clinking champagne glasses when we heard. His poem “How to Paint a Girl” was published on the holy grail of literary platforms, The New York Times Magazine!



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Click here to read “How to Paint a Girl.”

Congrats to Adesina. There is nothing more delightful than seeing new writers get the attention they deserve. We love the Adichies, the Teju Coles, the Lauren Beukeses  of the world, and we are inspired by their success. But there is a unique sense of joy that we feel when see hard working writers make their way into the limelight. It’s even more rewarding when the writer is someone that we believed in early on in their careers. Brittle Paper is all about nurturing new writers, so when writers we publish go on to greater things, we celebrate their success.

If you are an aspiring writer out there, take inspiration from Adesina’s story. Don’t wait for perfection. You’d notice that between Adesina’s poem published on Brittle Paper and the New York Times poem, he had two years of substantial improvement in his writing. It’s important that he didn’t wait to write that perfect NYT poems. He put his work out there and engaged with a real audience early on as part of the growing process.

Writing can be lonely and back-breaking, but when it yields fruits, it yields in a hundred fold. So keep at it!

Congrats to Adesina. This NYT Magazine publication is one of many stellar opportunities that will come his way.

The Brittle Paper community is rooting for him.  Go Adesina!

You can read “How to Paint a Girl” here.


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “Why We are Celebrating Ggbenga Adesina’s Poem in New York Times Magazine” Subscribe

  1. Emmanuel Jesuyon Dansu 2016/07/21 at 7:04 pm #

    Thumbs up Gbenga Adesina (Renaissance). I am so very proud to have you as a friend!

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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