The American publisher Animal Heart Press has released an anthology of Nigerian poetry. Titled Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry and edited by Adedayo Agarau, it collects work by most of the notable voices in Nigerian poetry, including Sky Raining Fists author J.K. Anowe and fellow Brittle Paper Award for Poetry winner Itiola Jones, A Woman’s Body Is a Country author Dami Ajayi, Brunel Prize winner Gbenga Adesina, Mannequin in the Nude author Logan February, Brittle Paper Award for Poetry finalists Chisom Okafor and Wale Ayinla, The Book of God author Ejiofor Ugwu, Brittingham Prize winner D.M. Aderibigbe, A Small Silence author Jumoke Verissimo, and Sillerman Prize finalists Okwudili Nebeolisa, Nome Emeka Patrick, and O-Jeremiah Agbaakin.

The anthology was released on March 30, 2020. Here is a description:

Nigeria—a country of contrasts. Incredible beauty. Incredible pain. Love, loss, facelessness and the struggle for identity. From this study in contrasts comes a collection of poems from established and emerging contemporary Nigerian voices. Surprising, bittersweet, lilting, angry, and mournful in turns, this anthology captures the vast poetic talent that has its roots in Nigeria’s soil.

Also featured are Daisy Odey, Bola Opaleke, Ojo Taiye, Pamilerin Jacob, Olajide Salawu, Njoku Nonso S., Su’eddie Vershima Agema, Anointing Obuh, Jide Badmus, Hussain Ahmed, Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu, Pèlúmi Sàlàkó, Rabiu Temidayo, Adesina Ajala, Jakky Bankong-Obi, Precious Okpechi, Abdulbaseet Yusuff, Precious Arinze, Ayobami Adesina, Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye, Sadiq Abdulsalam Adeiza, Onyedikachi Chinedu, Olakitan Aladesuyi, Ernest O. Ògúnyemí, Tobi Abiodun, Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola, Mayowa Martins Oyewale, Chukwunonso S. Nzewi, Temiloluwa Okanmiyo Oluyemi, Som Adedayor, Hussani Abdulrahim, Adeniran Joseph, Dipe Jola, Michael Akuchie, and Kolawole Samuel Adebayo.

Adedayo Agarau - credit to Dirk Skiba
Adedayo Agarau. Photo credit: Dirk Skiba.

The anthology’s editor Adedayo Agarau is a poet, documentary photographer, and human nutritionist. His debut poetry chapbook, The Arrival of Rain, was published this year by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. His second chapbook, The Origin of Name, is forthcoming in African Poetry Book Fund’s New-Generation African Poets box set.

We will be publishing the Foreword to the anthology later in the week.

BUY Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry HERE.