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A new poetry anthology, Wreaths for a Wayfarer, has been published in honour of Pius Adesanmi, who passed on in March 2019. Edited by Uchechukwu Umezurike and Nduka Otiono, the book will be released in North America by the Canadian press Daraja Press. Its Nigerian edition will be published later in the year by Narrative Landscape Press. The 328-page book “features 127 poets from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America,” Umezurike tells Brittle Paper in an email, and “a portion of the proceeds from the sales will be donated toward an education fund for the two daughters of Pius Adesanmi.”

Wreaths for a Wayfarer—which comprises five parts: “Wayfarer,” “Requiems,” “Homecoming,” “Selection of Adesanmi’s Poems,” and “Postlude”—has been supported by such leading scholars and public figures as Harry Garuba, Toyin Falola, Obioma Nnaemeka, Oby Ezekwesili, Olu Obafemi, and Odia Ofeimum.

Pius Adesanmi. Credit: Kogi Reports.

The book will be launched on March 12 in Ottawa, Canada, to mark the 10th anniversary of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies, where Adesanmi was Director. The launch will also mark the first anniversary of his passing.

Uchechukwu Umezurike is a Vanier Scholar and doctoral candidate in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. Nduka Otiono is Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University.

To honour Adesanmi, the African Studies Association established the Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award for Excellence in African Writing, a biennial honour for “an outstanding single-authored book focused on Africa and/or the global African world.” Its inaugural winner last year was the Canadian-South African Kagiso Lesego Molope, for her novel Such a Lonely, Lovely Road.

Wreaths for a Wayfarer is now available for purchase online and at major bookstores in North America. For retail trade, library, university and college bookstores in North America, please contact orders@brunswickbooks.ca. For all other enquiries, contact info@darajapress.com.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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