New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano)
Edited by Kwame Dawes & Chris AbaniAkashic Books, 2018
Cover art by Sokari Douglas Camp
The limited-edition box set is an annual project started in 2014 to ensure the publication of up to a dozen chapbooks by African poets through Akashic Books. The series seeks to identify the best poetry written by African poets working today, and it is especially interested in featuring poets who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry. This box set features art by Sokari Douglas Camp and contains the following chapbooks: Acts of Crucifixion by Kechi Nomu, Armeika by Umniya Najaer, The Art Poems by Amanda Bintu Holiday, A Brief Biography of My Name by Yalie Kamara, Clay Plates by Alexis Teyie, Daughter Tongue by Omotara James, Ebb by Leila Chatti, Inside the Flower Room by Saddiq Dzukogi, No Home in this Land by Rasaq Malik, The Origin of Butterflies by Romeo Oriogun, and Xamissa: The Water Archives by Henk Rossouw.
But I do offer this, and stand by these books, as evidence that there is a new conversation occurring in African poetry, amongst poets, between traditions and culture, between aesthetic movements and impulses, that is now available and accessible to poets, scholars, researchers, and students and fans of African literature, specifically African poetry, that wasn’t there before this project emerged. This is a significant intervention, and has revealed to a larger world that poetry in Africa is as alive and as conversation-altering as fiction.Chris Abani, from the introduction
Tano is exquisitely composed and designed. This is a boxed set to be collected—and coveted.