The book is an utaniki, a poetic travel journal comprised of haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai and various Japanese imagist sequences. It records a journey undertaken by the author and his family in a Volkswagen, c 1980, from northeastern Nigeria down to Lagos in the southwest and up the west coast of West Africa through Benin and Togo. With characteristic wit it exposes the neocolonial realities of so-called third world cultures: the ingenuity of their peoples, their wicked humour and resourcefulness. It's a celebration of life in West Africa before the violence of Boko Haram and the abductions of young girls from Maiduguri, a city Richard Stevenson lived in for two years as a CIDA volunteer.
About the author
Richard Stevenson was born in 1952 in Victoria, British Columbia. A prolific writer, Richard has published twelve collections of poetry (including Why Were All the Werewolves Men? (Thistledown, 1994), and Nothing Definite Yeti (Ekstasis Editions, 1999)) and four poetry chapbooks. Richard won the 1994 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for From the Mouths of Angels (Ekstasis, 1993). He is also the co-founder of Naked Ear, a poetry-jazz performance ensemble.