Nigerian writer Jide Salawu is set to publish his poetry collection Contraband Bodies with NeWest Press in Canada in Fall 2025.

Salawu is a PhD student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Contraband Bodies is not Salawu’s first book of poetry. In 2019, his book, Preface for Leaving Homeland, was published by African Poetry Book Fund. His works have appeared in local and international journals and have been nominated for different awards.

Contraband Bodies explores migration and it is a personal documentation of exodus in Africa and outside Africa. In it, he moves from private disenchanting memories of migration to the public one. It is also an elegy of sorts to the postcolonial country, Nigeria.

Read the synopsis below:

Contraband Bodies is a personal record of migratory travails and a country lost to precarious politics. It is a conscious elegy of displacement and home regained through the tribute of roads, evoking diasporic conditions in a new way by highlighting through pixelated imagery, syncopated language, and lapidary details the diverse circumstances of being a Black migrant in Africa, Europe, and America.

Salawu wrote Contraband Bodies during his fellowship with Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, Vancouver Canada, and with the generous support of James Patrick Folinsbee Award, English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Canada in 2022.

Congrats to Salawu!