The year AD 2012 seems to me to be a Year for the Literatures! At least in my home country, Nigeria, popularly known as Naija.
It is not a New Year Resolution, but I strolled into the year with a firm catch on my life – ‘work hard in everything you do!’ I have also applied that to my literary work. Writing, Reading, Reviewing, Critiquing, Activism, Publishing, Mentoring!
Recently, I caressed my bookshelves and discovered that prose outnumbered poetry nearly 3 to 1. Not that I have anything against prose, but tufiakwa (someone please translate), I cannot let that be! Then something (certainly not a spirit) whispered to me ‘don’t worry, a lot of poetry collections will be published this year!’ I needed no telling that it will include my collection, Chant of the Angry and my boy’s The Beginning of Silence! And now I have heard that many of my friends are awaiting the emergence of their poetry collections in this AD 2012!
Thanks to Dr Emman Shehu who brought my attention to it, the book From First Draft to Finished Novel: A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building by Karen S. Wiesner graced my bookshelf at Christmas. This is like the book the doctor prescribed for me to overcome my prosophobia (do I have to say that this means the fear of prose writing?)! I am reading it now and at the end of this school, I will be able to complete my collection of short stories, Paradise of Dreams. I will also be able to start working on a novel in my Bura, my indigenous language. And if Jerry Adesewo challenges me sufficiently, I could churn out a play (again thanks to Dr Shehu, I have The Art and Craft of Play Writing by Jeffrey Hatcher falling in line on my shelf) that could compete for a place at the Play Reading parade at the Korean Cultural Centre!
Whenever I meet literary enthusiasts (that indefinable species of special people), the discussion is all about the pregnancy that the year AD 2012 is carrying! Multiple, multi-genre pregnancy. Ngwanu, let’s support the year to a safe delivery!
So a firm challenge to the Abuja Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Abuja Literary Society (ALS) and Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF): Don’t fall me hand oo! National ANA, you too!
You can add your thoughts for literature in AD 2012.