Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Nana Brantuo describes herself as a Ghanaian/Sierra Leonean American. In the two poems featured here—“Elmina” and “Kwesi”—she expresses so much so beautifully with so little.

Her poems are short, packed full of meaning, and pleasant to read, with just the right amount of sadness to leave you hankering for more. 
 
Njideka-Predecessors-Left-Panel-800x790

Elmina

The smell of human flesh,
brings tears to my eyes.
While the tourists pose on the rusted cannons,
While men and women sell local crafts for much needed cedis,
horror and rage fill my heart in the women’s holding cell.
Walking where women once wept,
praying to return to their native lands.

***

Kwesi

In Kumasi, I found myself lost in the confusion of Kejetia.
Searching for powder glass beads in a sea of sellers,
hustling for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s rent.

Krobo beads in sight, I followed the pinks and blues and greens
only to feel the roughness of your hands.
And something about their warmth made me forget who I was.

Something about the yellow in your eyes and
the darkness of your skin, made my heart swell.

 

The image in the post is one of Njideka Akunyili’s pieces via African Digital Arts. Check out more of her work {HERE}.

***

Brantuo, NanaNana Brantuo is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Check out her cool tumblr blog,  The New African. Her work has been published on For Harriet, an online community for women of African ancestry, as well as on HolaAfrica!, a Pan-Africanist Queer Womanist Collective.

Tags: , , , , ,

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

3 Responses to ““The Smell of Human Flesh” — Poems by Nana Brantuo | Brittle Paper Poet” Subscribe

  1. Khadijah Muhammad February 3, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    Beautiful.The first poem needs to be taken in slowly.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » To My Niece - May 17, 2014

    […] Nana holds a B.A. in African Studies from Howard University and is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Minority and Urban Education program. Nana is the creator The New African, a blog focused on embracing the diversity of African and African Diaspora peoples. She is also the editorial director for Reign, a rising magazine discussing the African/Black Diaspora. Nana has been published on For Harriet and Brittle Paper. […]

  2. » Amoafoa - November 4, 2014

    […] publication discussing the African/Black Diaspora. Nana has also been published on For Harriet and Brittle Paper! Follow Nana on Twitter and […]

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."

Archives

Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Fantasy Trilogy, The Nameless Republic, Acquired by Orbit 

Suyi davies okungbowa by adaeze opara duncan

Orbit has acquired the rights to the Nigerian writer Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s new epic fantasy trilogy. Titled The Nameless Republic, […]

Ilya Kaminsky & Ellen Bass Have Serious Praise for Romeo Oriogun’s Hotly Anticipated Debut Collection, Sacrament of Bodies

romeo oriogun - sacrament of bodies - graph

We are two months away from the arrival of Romeo Oriogun‘s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies, from the University […]

Nancy Adimora, Founder & Editor of Afreada, Rejoins HarperCollins in Diversity-Focused Role

nancy adimora - website - graph

Nancy Adimora, founder and editor of the literary magazine AFREADA, is returning to US publishing house HarperCollins in a newly […]

Come Home with Me | Obasa Funmilayo | Poetry

nick-karvounis-8WODX7nO2JE-unsplash

i This is a tribute to the dreams we failed to keep between our breasts, for the fantasies we painted […]

Watch Liberian Journalist Clarice Gargard Talk Her Family History, the Civil Wars, & Charles Taylor

clarice gargard - tedxamsterdamwomen-2019

The Liberian Dutch-American journalist and social advocate Clarice Gargard recently shared her story of Liberia’s civil wars in a TEDx […]

Submit to Issue III of 20.35 Africa Poetry Series, Guest-Edited by Itiola Jones & Cheswayo Mphanza

20.35 africa - itiola jones and cheswayo mpanza guest-editing

Launched in 2018, the 20.25 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry collective is pushing institutional boundaries in the African literary scene […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.