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Poetry Haiku

Bature! West African Haikai

by (author) Richard Stevenson

Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Haiku, African, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price

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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 WUSC recruit.

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.

Richard Stevenson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Hot Flashes: Maiduguri Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka:

"Though there are serious undertones at times, the comic poems centered on small details and brief dialogues really make the collection and stay in the mind. Stevenson shows himself to be a virtuoso of the haiku, and also shows how in a globalized culture a Canadian poet can successfully use Japanese forms to illuminate African realities." --Graham Good, Canadian Literature

Praise for Learning To Breathe:

"The power of Stevenson's poetry lies in a reliance on the particularities of personal experience, and in a forceful combination of narrative and lyric styles that successfully portray the several seasons of being male." --Matthew Manera, The Canadian Forum

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