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by Obi Nwakanma

With unspeakable tenderness and palpable trepidation, Nigerian poet Obi Nwakanma captures the universal experience of childbirth. From his earlier collection The Horsemen and Other Poems, Nwakanma has become a “sojourner from a tangled past traveling to an uncertain future”, trying to root, shape and steel his unborn child to a world filled with graphic horror and indescribable wonder. Along the way he meets his muse, the sixteenth century mystical Indian poet Mirabai, and recites Elizabeth Bishop over tea. Thematically, Bithcry is intimate, lyrical and unrestrained while retaining a measured, coherent and precise form.

ISBN 9789789183685 | 78 pages | 216 x 140mm | 2016 | Kraft Books, Nigeria | Paperback



"In Birthcry, Obi Nwakanma offers a subtle, modernist tapestry of symbolic mini-narratives in verse. Covering the entire spectrum of human experience, this is a stunning fusion of transnational mythopoeia and African fabulist threads from Aesop to Achebe"

Chukwuma Azuonye, Professor of African and African Diaspora Literatures, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"Obi Nwakanma's arterial imagination is evident in this cadenced exploration of transformative crossroads in Birthcry"

Maik Nwogu, poet, novelist and Professor of English, University of Denver, Colorado

"Obi Nwakanma's soaring, lyrical collection of poems, Birthcry, is the perfect riposte to Auden's "Not to be born is the best for man". Occasioned by the arrival of a new-born child, the poet reassures not only the world in which the child has been born, but the body and the womb itself."

Raza Ali Hassan, poet, Dept. of English, University of Colorado



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