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 Viktor Ehikhamenor and contains the following chapbooks: Asmarani by Safia Elhillo, The Color of James Brown’s Scream by Kayombo Chingonyi, Dagoretti Corner by Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, In Praise of Our Absent Father by D.M. Aderibigbe, The Leaving by Hope Wabuke, Painter of Water by Gbenga Adesina, Paper Dolls by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese, and Survival Kit by Chielozona Eze.
Above all, what we hope for is a poetics that is more African than it has ever been, but we are in the business of trusting the African poet to discover what this Africanness means. It may well emerge as something quite specific, something located with a particular tribe, ethnic group, neighborhood, or community, or it may grow out some visionary insight into the ways in which Africa as a continent is changing.Kwame Dawes, in the introduction
New-Generation African Poets is an ambitious, vital project that delivers exactly what it promises . . . As a group, the chapbooks dispel stereotypes about African writing. They also illustrate what editors Dawes and Abani note about the many ways poets can understand or redefine their ties to Africa. These insights are poignant and valuable, especially at a time when millions around the globe find themselves somewhere between new countries and ancestral lands they’ve left behind.