African poetry

Akan symbol Obra kwan ye nkyinkyimiie
The course of life is full of twistings, ups and downs, and zigzags
- Akan proverb

Updated: November 2011 (why does things keep disappearing, eh?)

Poetry International
Large and it seems stable, well curated collection of poets, with poems, interviews, essays etc, by country, bit of Africa there - South Africa: Antjie Krog, Ingrid de Kok, Karen Press, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Michael Cope, Mxolisi Nyezwa, Tatamkhulu Afrika etc, Zimbabwe: Charles Mungoshi, Chirikure Chirikure, Chris Magadza, Albert Nyathi, Freedom T.V. Nyamubaya, John Eppel, Ndebele & Shona praise poetry etc, Morocco: Abdel-ilah Salhi, Ahmed Barakat, Amina El Bakouri, Ben Younes Majen, Fatiha Morchid, Hassan Najmi, Mohammed Abu-Talib, Touria Majdouline etc.
word speaks
Poem by Kojo Baffoe on his blog Imperfect Poetry
Nii Ayikwei Parkes
Ghanaian writer resident in London - two poems here including I like it to rain: Sometimes I like it to rain / Heavy, relentless and loud, / So you burrow into me like pain, / And inhale me slow and free.
KiSwahili praise about love
Nipa loho ya kihindi Give me a writing board of Indian wood
Poem by Chinua Achebe
Matt's note on this poem
Eze elina, elina!
Kemefuna's song from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Matt's note on this poem
Poem by Chinua Achebe, with revision notes! (BBC Schools)
Another Africa
Extract from Another Africa (Lund Humphries, ISBN 0853317291), poems by Chinua Achebe, photographs by Robert Lyons - if your house burns down save this book
Chris Abani
Los Angeles, London, Lagos
Ambara, The Interpreter
Dogon Tige, with line by line interpetation
Lithothokiso (Praise Poems)
From Rethabile Masilo's blog On Sesotho
Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac (‘Gaarriye’)
Interviewed by James Byrne for The Wolf magazine
Poem by Gaarriye, translated by David Harsent
Poem by by Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka in conversation
First African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature - Soyinka was in conversation at the University of Berkley, video
Crossing project
From Devon County Council, including poems from Peter Clarke, Ingrid de Kok, Mike Cope, Abner Nyamende and transcript of a conversation between Tatumkhulu Afrika and three students from Westerford High School
The beginning of beginning rhythm etc
Two Bambara praises for the Crowned Crane, in English
The hunter will go: he will bring meat
Five Akan praises of hunters, in English
Matt's note on these Akan praises
We are meningitis
Yoruba praise, in English
Train and other praises
Praises in English - You are the black centipede, the rusher with a black nose
African proverbs, sayings and stories
In original languages and English with explanation, biblical parallels and meaning for everday use
African educational resources
Renowned poets Kofi Anyidoho and Tanure Ojaide are featured, plus others
Recent South African poetry
Virtual anthology edited by Michael Cope - from Ingrid de Kok to Isabella Motadinyane
Adinkra symbols
West African symbols, origins and meanings.
African praise poems - examples, analysis, links
From Cora Agatucci, Professor of English, Central Oregon Community College
The tether will suffer the wear and the tear
Poem by Akoli Penoukou - Tether which inhibited us in barter etc
5 poems by Reesom Haile
Eritrean, in English translation by the author and Charles Cantalupo

Comments, suggestion: get in touch - matt