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edition:eBook
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category: Poetry
published: March 2016
ISBN:9781772121520

100 Days

by Juliane Okot Bitek, foreword by Cecily Nicholson

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african, canadian, women authors
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $15.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
category: Poetry
published: March 2016
ISBN:9781772121520
Description

100 days... 100 days that should not have been... 100 days the world could have stopped. But did not.

For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem—each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family's experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tradition of her father—the poet Okot p'Bitek; Anglican hymns; the rhythms and sounds of the African American Spiritual tradition; and the beat of spoken word and hip-hop. 100 Days is a collection of poetry that will stop you in your tracks.

It was the earth that betrayed us first

it was the earth that held onto its beauty
compelling us to return

 

it was the breezes that were there
& then not there

 

it was the sun that rose & fell
rose & fell

 

as if there was nothing different
as if nothing changed

About the Authors

Juliane Okot Bitek

Writer Juliane Okot Bitek is a PhD Candidate with the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver. Some of her essays and creative writing can be found at julianeokotbitek.com.
Author profile page >

Cecily Nicholson

Writer Juliane Okot Bitek is a PhD Candidate with the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver. Some of her essays and creative writing can be found at julianeokotbitek.com.
Author profile page >
Awards
  • Short-listed, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes)
  • Short-listed, Canadian Authors Award for Poetry (Canadian Authors Association)
  • Winner, AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, Book – Jackets & Covers
  • Winner, INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Poetry)
  • Short-listed, Pat Lowther Award (The League of Canadian Poets)
  • Winner, AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, Book – Poetry and Literature
Editorial Reviews

"[H]ow could an event so terrible birth a myriad of powerful words so beautiful in their execution... 100 Days is a deserving tribute to a time when humanity forgot what it meant to be human. Reading the poetry collection is a humbling experience." [Full review at http://bit.ly/2bjmR6r]

— Writivism

"Bitek’s absolutely-must-read 100 Days, [is] an astonishing debut poetry collection.... Pieces are stark and plangent with simple concrete imagery and sensory detail.... The book furthers the sense of relentlessness never-ending, one day as horror-filled as the one before or the next. The University of Alberta Press has produced a tall, beautiful book.... While specific, the book’s range is far-reaching." Canadian Literature, Spring/Summer 2016 [Full review at http://canlit.ca/article/space-in-absence/]

— Canadian Literature

'"In 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide..." [http://whatsonafrica.org/woa-25-top-african-literature-releases-2016/?platform=hootsuite]


"The 'Hundred Days' from April to July 1994 witnessed one of the great genocides of the twentieth century and all while the world looked on and did nothing..... The poetry of Juliane Okot Bitek takes you through its villages and churches and lost innocence, relationships where time was measured out in machete strokes and words that made light of indifference and nothing to tie it to but days and the chattering of birds and bayonet sticks and the awful brutality of it all. There are no epiphanies here, no wise men to make sense of it, no Christian sacrifice or saviours, only the memories and a poet who wrote them out for one hundred days lest we forget." Full post at http://thetarapoetryblog.blogspot.ca/2016/06/100-days-juliane-okot-bitek.html


"Bitek’s ability to connect with the beauty and pain of human suffering seems supernatural, this ability to give voice to those who seem to have no voices. Bitek wrote this book with her blood and it shows.... Bitek is a gifted seer, she sees tomorrow with a sweet but earthy, guttural voice, voice of the masquerade.... [Bitek] takes the reader to places in the heart that the writer never intended or imagined. That is powerful, how she makes 100 Days a deeply personal journey to each reader." [Full post at http://xokigbo.com/2016/02/28/juliane-okot-bitek-100-days-of-hells-anomie/]

— Reading and Writing... Loudly,

"The poems... engage traumatised personal memory, suspect the objectivity of official discourse and explore the complications involved in forging a new future. This collection, therefore, does not only add to the ever-growing library of contemporary African poetry, but it does so in ways that will further the postcolonial conversations around nationhood, security and interethnic conflicts as they cross paths with ideas of autochthony, place, displacement and ecological interests in twenty-first century Africa." [Full review at http://bit.ly/2fbrmAN] 

— Transnational Literature

Bitek’s poems are fierce, directly straightforward and unrelenting, composing her poems in an unadorned manner that increase in tension through the accumulation.... Part of what makes the collection so engaging is in the way she focuses on intimate spaces and details, refusing to utilize the form for a simple re-telling of history (which, frustratingly, so many poets tend to do) but engaging the smaller moments. The witness here is personal and deeply felt, even when she writes on large abstracts, proclaiming in broad gestures, exploring through the lyric a human tragedy so brutal and extensive that it becomes unfathomable." [Full post at http://robmclennan.blogspot.ca/2016/03/juliane-okot-bitek-100-days.html]

— rob mclennan

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