Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Anefiok Akpan - Teteatete

Here you are, gazing suspiciously at me!
Or perhaps it’s the patches of words
I wobbled upon on the eve of last year.

What really brings us together now,
Your desire to listen or mine to speak?
Perhaps we could do both, if you come closer.

So alone now—me and you! Distance, lost—
Time, paused—only prints of your sliding gasps
Tells me secretly of your swelling curiosity.

So while you ponder cuddling these pebbled words,
Curious friend, though far, words comprehend no end,
Long I heard they walked the breath of the earth!

Make no mistake, I see you, as you see me,
For deep down inside, beyond the hugs of logic,
The mind is all seeing, if truly words are gods-

And yes, they are! For I have seen phrases
That ordered genocides and nouns that sealed graves,
Heard moaning dialects between cleavages
And tenacious monologues that stirs revolutions,
For in the beginning was the word and the word is you!

So in the absence of distance as you know it,
Say something to me gently and listen tenderly-
For my reply is between this comma, and your smile.


Anefiok Akpan 4We are excited to kick off our poetry section with this softly evocative and flirty piece by Anefiok Akpan, an unpublished Nigerian poet.

A graduate of the University of Ibadan where he studied advertising, Anefiok currently works as a part time Copywriter and Social Media Analyst at the Nigeria Centenary Project.

Anefiok speaks Hausa, Yoruba, Ibibio, Efik and English. He loves traveling and meddling in people affairs and is an aspiring photographer. He is the 2008 winner of The Wole Soyinka/Dapo Adelugba Prize for Literature.

Twitter: @Anefiok





First Image Via

Tags: , , ,

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.

2 Responses to “BRITTLE PAPER POET: “Tête-à-tête” by Anefiok Akpan” Subscribe

  1. Hamza 2013/06/13 at 09:56 #

    wow.. this looks good… its almost like its talking to me…but am a guy though…can only imagine how a girl would feel…
    crazy how a poem from a stranger feels so personal.. well written.. is he on twitter…

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2013/06/13 at 10:07 #

    Thanks Hamza.

    Anefiok’s twitter handle is @Anefiok

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."


Rapper-Turned-Novelist Gael Faye’s Small Country Stirringly Captures a Dark Moment in Burundi’s History

gael faye - the cross

France-based Burundian artist Gael Faye has met success since stepping into literature from hip hop. His novel Small Country, first published […]

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology | Read e-Book Exploring Millennial Sex Culture and Romance in African Cities


Much has been said about the state of sex in African literature: whether African novelists are keen on sex, why […]

Zimbabwean Mapping Project Documents the Movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare

dambudzo marechera - graph

An unusual mapping project has documented the movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare. “Home Means Nothing to Me,” published in […]

Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia Gets Animation Movie | Watch Teaser

The Passport of Mallam Ilia - animation

Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel The Passport of Mallam Ilia is being made into an animated movie. Premium Times reports that the 2D […]

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible Makes Vogue’s Must-Read Books of 2018

yrsa daley-ward - image by Laurel Grolio for Girls At Library

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow […]

Film Adaptation of Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, by Dapo Adeniyi, Tells the Story of the Legend as a Child in the 1940s | Watch Trailer 

Egba women wait on Mrs Kuti at the outset of the women’s riot3

The film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1981 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is now available on Amazon. Set during the World […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.