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Learning the Gag Reflex | By Logan February | Poetry

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Love does not want this body, this mouth, toothless maw, hanging open & belonging to nobody’s son. The father died & I became nobody. In Yoruba, a father is a name & the left hand is taboo. One cannot offer water with the left hand or sleep facing upward. At night, a witch will sit […]

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African Literature as Medicine: The 2016 Etisalat Prize Shortlist | By David Evans

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On May 20, the winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature—awarded to a first-time African fiction book author—will be announced. Which of the three shortlisted novels is worthy of the prize? All of them! But if your soul is ailing, there is a novel here to comfort you. Ailment: Hubris. Physician: Julie Iromuanya. Prescription: Mr. […]

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We’re Queer, We’re Here | By Chibuihe Obi | Essay

Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief of Staff Medaria Arrdondo spoke with demonstrators outside the 4th Precinct Station Sunday night in Minneapolis.  ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com    After a man was shot by Minneapolis police early Sunday morning, Black Lives Matters and others protested Sunday night at the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct station on Plymouth Ave. N.

The first time I felt compelled to document the queer body in my writing was during my second year at the university. I had this toe-curling experience in the hostel one certain night that left me tugging at my pen and bleeding profusely into the banality of an empty paper from the midnight when the […]

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A Song of Loss | Three Poems by Ajise Vincent

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a song of loss because we were young & bridled with beams of immaculacy, our fathers, men whose tongues had never tasted the pulse of sins, didn’t tell us of the tsunami that brewed in the progenies of adam when history was rewritten with blood, in a language where every syntax is a sin. then, […]

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Anonymous | Two Poems by Hauwa

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anonymous   in a blanklet, muffled like shame or oxygen in an inhaler: a woman balled into the size of anguish   —small and infinitely boundless still—   a stream of fire running directly beneath her skin.   her thighs too are pressed into a man’s memory, the memory that was not first a moment. […]

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Monuments | By Ademola Enoch | Poetry

An old tree stump, showing its age.

I stumble on an old man, returning from a cathedral. His eyes are ropes that pull me into him, urging me to see his existence from his vantage: a mountain as high as the heels of his shoes. He smiles at me but I am reminded of loss; an opera – of bones, dismembered affection, […]

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Museum of Women | By Tolu Agbelusi | Poetry

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In the shadow of frustrations I sometimes hear myself say, “I made it this far alone,” failing to find a reflection for that embodiment of life in the mirror of my years. I see instead a museum of women refusing to gather dust in my memories and heart spaces —women who at distinct moments have […]

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Schoolyard Cannibal | By Nana Nkweti | Prose-Poem

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Youth makes you too apt a pupil of coarse lessons it will take decades to unlearn. Your headmistress a family television—ancient, venerable—cased in oak heavy and vast as the Encyclopedia Britannica, entire. Poor, poor pickaninny, pick a program. Poison. Drink in definitions as you sit transfixed on grainy carpet, chin on the kickstand of your […]

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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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“The Great Ugandan Novel” | Aaron Bady Hails Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

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Since its 2014 publication, Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu has raced its way to hit status. Divided into six parts, the novel “reimagines […]

Judges Unveiled for the Black Letter Media Short Story Competition

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Black Letter Media has released the three-person list of judges for the 2017 edition of its short story competition. The judges […]

A Mosaic of Torn Places | Read the New Diverse Anthology of Young Nigerian Writers

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A Mosaic of Torn Places, the latest anthology of young writers out of Nigeria, collects ten stories of poignant diversity. […]

A Narrative of Home and Longing | Review of Inua Ellams’ #Afterhours | By Billie McTernan

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In his new anthology-cum-diary-cum-memoir, #Afterhours, Nigerian poet Inua Ellams features a collection of poems written in-response to a well-considered selection […]

The New Things Fall Apart Cover is the Best Thing You’ll See Today

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Things Fall Apart will be 60 next year. And Penguin USA is pulling all the stops to put together a […]

Akwaeke Emezi Awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa Region

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Akwaeke Emezi has been awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Africa Region) for her entry, “Who Is Like God?” […]