Conceived by the KSR Collective as an Africa-centric, traditional-style, royalties-paying publishing house, Konya Shamsrumi, which has gained continental attention with its 5 Questions series with emerging and established poets, recently announced new columnist-bloggers for its website. The press and Collective has also made its publishing debut, with two poetry collections: Richard Ali’s The Anguish and Vigilance of Things and Umar Sidi’s The Poet of Dust.

Richard Ali’s The Anguish and Vigilance of Things is a 59-page debut. Here is a description by the press:

Following an introduction by the Arab master poet, Imru al-Qais, the collection is divided into two sections—”World: Poems” and “Otherworld: Other Poems.” The first section comprises three poetic emphasis: “Songs of Light,” “The Woman God,” and “Songs of Darkness.” It ends with the poem “The Casino for Souls,” and is a synthesis of nearly fifteen years of work.

Richard Ali’s work has appeared in African Writing, Praxis Magazine, and in Poems for a Century: An Anthology on Nigeria.

Umar Abubakar Sidi’s The Poet of Dust is a 69-page expansion of his 2014 chapbook, The Poet of Sand, published by Saraba magazine. It is the second collection by the Nigerian Navy helicopter pilot, following Striking the Strings. Here is a description:

The Poet of Sand is divided into two sections—”The Poet of Sand” and “Poetic Manifesto.” Each section contains six poems, the second section having “The Veiled Secret of the Kama Sutra or the Way A Certain Poe Interprets the Surrealist Manifesto,” previously published in Jalada Africa 02.

Umar Sidi’s work has appeared in Transition and Brittle Paper.

In an email to Brittle Paper, KSR member Funmi Gaji stated that “the new collections are available for order via the Konya Shamsrumi website with a discount deal (N3,500 for both), with free postage in Nigeria.”

The books will also be available at the country’s leading bookstores, including Booksellers (Abuja and Ibadan), Patabah (Lagos), PAGE Bookstore (Lagos), Adam’s Pages (Abuja), AMAB Books (Minna), Chapter One Books (Kano), and Custodians of African Literature (COAL, Jos). They will also be available at Ehanom Books in Accra, Ghana, and soon, in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, and the UK.

The KSR Collective, which runs Konya Shamsrumi, L-R: Funmi Gaji, Umar Sidi, Richard Ali, and Rasaq Malik Gbolahan.

Konya Shamsrumi press is built around the four-member KSR Collective—Richard Ali, Umar Sidi, Funmi Gaji and Rasaq Malik Gbolahan. Its objective is to create a new publishing house and multimedia platform for African poets that will showcase the continent’s best voices. By the middle of the year, it will be releasing chapbooks by Funmi Gaji and Rasaq Malik Gbolahan.

Congratulations to Konya Shamsrumi, Richard Ali, and Umar Sidi.