Romeo Oriogun’s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies is still some 12 days away from its March 1 publication date but the anticipation is reaching fever-pitch. Sacrament of Bodies interrogates queerness, masculinity, and Nigerianness, and is a meditation on pain, love, joy, and how we overcome.

The book has some big fans in Ilya Kaminsky and Ellen Bass. “Sacrament of Bodies is a very special book,” Kaminsky writes in his blurb. “Romeo Oriogun has developed a style that is both personal and mythical, because these poems are sensual and spiritual at once, because they give us both. But it is his music that finally sways me, it’s music that lifts it all, that makes out of truth-telling a song. The music works here because Oriogun is a master of incantation. I love this beautiful, heart-wrenching, passionate book.”

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Bass describes the poems as making her “stronger.” It is “a gorgeous book filled with fiery pain and ecstatic desire,” she writes. “These poems are spacious enough to hold all the contradictions: the violence waged against gay people and the body’s insistence on love, the tenderness of flesh and the carnage of war, remembering and forgetting, silence and song. Romeo Oriogun has wrought complex, elegant poems that wrench beauty from all that would kill us.”

Romeo Oriogun.

Oriogun has now shared his remarkable personal story, one of a mother’s love and how talent and hard work has turned an unknown without a bachelor’s degree into one of the most influential poets of his generation.

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Buy Sacrament of Bodies HERE and HERE