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Africa is a Country (Old Site)

7479710Guest Post by Robert Nathan

To be 419′ed is to be fooled. Duped. Swindled. At least that’s the meaning as far as Nigerian slang is concerned — of which this book has plenty on offer. The question is: does Will Ferguson’s Giller-winning novel deliver on the award hype, or does it 419 us? The answer is… yes. “419” begins when a hapless Calgarian falls for a Nigerian email scam (for more info, see your spam folder from ten years ago). He subsequently ruins his finances and offs himself, setting in motion a quest that will see his surviving daughter, Laura, attempt to find out who is responsible.

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RB 1002 SLD

Susan Daniels Poetry

there are no easy answers
but who is asking–
when no one is blamed
but the shooter
we can arm or disarm
we can reify
& never rectify
the flaw in the machine

it’s not the absence of God
in our schools–
our schools are full of gods.
It’s conscience we’re lacking,
all of us jaded & bloated in
humanity so big we can’t see the other
as a we, as an I in different skin;

until we say us
instead of society, instead of them,
instead of the other
until we say me
& own this thing

that makes saints or monsters
giving some too much

& others too little
of what makes us us

we are in no way through this

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RB 1000 SLD

Susan Daniels Poetry

God is easy
when we use Him
to explain what’s wrong here

we love putting words
in His mouth
to suit our politics
and explain prejudice

but if He  spoke, just spoke to us
about how we are the problem
like He did once, in common language
and incarnate
how we own it in our nature
chained to us tighter than breath

we would miss the point again
and, worse than pharisees
we would kill Him again

without the propriety of a trial,
we would lynch Him
or put Him in front of a firing squad

if He spoke

good thing then
that when He comes back
next time, he will be unkillable
and He says
He’s bringing friends

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Boomie Bol

Parrot my foot
and imitate these hands
shriving timbers
from deep down insideThis talk of love
your empty 4 letter word
speaking to my foot
my hand responds as needed

My mouth mirrors yours
in speech or kissing
but what do these lips speak
but echoes?

Traveling down my throat
faster than the speed of light
your shivering echoes leave loss
Lies and much wrong
Your four 4 letter word
Dust in my wind…

And if we must speak of love
I need bigger words
than those four characters
tumbling in the air
trapeze artists
without nets
just skipping past gravity

We cannot fly
we only tumble

By Susan Daniels and Boomie Bol
Boomie Bol in Italics

This poem was initiated by a response to my recent Friday Fictioneers post…between Susan and I the words fell out late at night. Susan is a genius at words so this is…

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African literary studies – changing times, challenges and emergent forms!

Pa Ikhide

Kenneth W. Harrow, distinguished professor of English at Michigan State University pays homage to Professor Pius Adesanmi’s muse – and delivers a rigorous examination of Binyavanga Wainaina’s book, One Day I Will Write About This Place.  He may be reached at

        About a year ago Biodun Jeyifo told me of a conversation he had with one of his Ph.D. students. She had come to his office in a panic, informing him that her advisor had told her that retaining postcolonialism in her project would only hinder her job search, and that it ought not to play a significant role in her dissertation. We were in the throes of asking where the profession was going, how global studies have now become sine qua non for those seeking to teach non-Western literatures. The fragile place of African literary studies was once again called into question: what would it belong to…

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