THE NEW AFRICAN POETRY by Tanure Ojaide

THE NEW AFRICAN POETRY

An Anthology
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixty-two poets from over twenty-two African countries provide a portrait of a new generation in African verse. Some of these poems having been written in English, others having been translated from French, Arabic, and Portugese, together they make up a post-colonial tradition that goes beyond the nationalism and independence of the negritude poets of the —50s and —60s. These younger writers, most born in the 1950s, rely more on indigenous oral cultures and local mythologies and direct their political hostility toward their own rulers. The myth of pan-Africanism falls apart in the tribal antagonisms of the present, and many of the diverse poets here find themselves in exile in England and the US for their outspoken criticism of their leaders. Occasional agitprop still mars the Angolan revolutionary poets, and the South Africans—largely women—write mostly popular doggerel in support of freedom. A surprising number of the authors here have studied in American MFA programs, and it shows: Their poems are imagistic free verse and more introspective, and the women give voice to a feminism not always welcome back in Africa.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-89410-879-4
Page count: 234pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999




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