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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.

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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.

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

  1. Khadijah Muhammad 2014/02/03 at 01:23 #

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

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » To My Niece - 2014/05/17

    […] 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 - 2014/11/04

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

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