The University of Nebraska Press has published two new titles under the African Poetry Book Series banner. The African Poetry Book Series seeks to discover and highlight works of African poetry with a wide-ranging scope; from classic works to modern and contemporary voices. The titles are When the Wanderers Come Home by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, and Logotherapy by Mukoma Wa Ngugi.

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley composed When the Wanderers Come Home during a four-month visit to her homeland of Liberia in 2013. The book is a story of exile, survival, and being an outsider in your own country. She gives powerful voice to the pain and inner turmoil of a homeland still reconciling itself in the aftermath of multiple wars and destruction, creating more wanderers and world citizens. Wesley calls on deeply rooted African motifs and proverbs, utilizing the poetics of both the West and Africa to convey her grief. Autobiographical in nature, the poems highlight the hardships of a diaspora African and the devastation of a country and continent struggling to recover.

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Pennsylvania State University–Altoona. She has four other books of poetry, including Where the Road Turns and Becoming Ebony, part of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s poems speak of love, war, violence, language, immigration, and exile, and are written as a tribute to family, place, and bodily awareness. From a baby girl’s penchant for her parents’ keys to a warrior’s hunt for words, Wa Ngugi’s poems move back and forth between the personal and the political. In the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, the biting winds of Boston, and the heat of Nairobi, Wa Ngugi is always mindful of his physical experience of the environment. Ultimately it is among multiple homes, nations, and identities that he finds an uneasy peace.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is an assistant professor of English at Cornell University. His books include the novel Black Star Nairobi and the poetry collection Hurling Words at Consciousness.


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