26 April 2008

blogging the ala: almost wrapping things up...

One of the great delights of these conferences has always been walking away (or flying -- or in this instance driving off) with a healthy stack of books. Granted, sometimes the enthusiasm prematurely and the books gather dust on the shelves. But other times I dive right in.

This year, it seems, I lie somewhere in between -- too many meetings and work to do, both at the conference and at home, to have done anything more than crack and browse those books that I've gathered, but not suffering any lack of desire to see where they will take me.

Last night, at the author reading, I picked up the following:
  • 25 New Nigerian Poets by Toyin Adewale (ed)
  • The Dream in the Next Body by Gabeba Baderoon
  • The Tale of the Harmattan by Tanure Ojaide
  • and Niyi Osundare's Early Birds: Poems for Junior Secondary Schools (Books Two and Three)
And today, on the final walk-through of the exhibit area, I gobbled up the following from the African Books Collective table -- moving away from exclusively poetry, but never far from the poets it seems:
  • PraiseSong for TheLand by Kofi Anyidoho (which comes with a cd of Anyidoho reading)
  • In the House of Words by Tanure Ojaide
  • Niyi Osundare's The State Visit and Two Plays
  • The Invention & The Detainee by Wole Soyinka (his earliest play and a radio play)
  • and the Kenyan journal Kwani?, number 3
Ah, now it will take me awhile to plow through all of these, but I shall. And I'll report back as well. And with these in hand it will have been a good conference indeed. For the acquisitive-minded, which I am when it comes to books.

I will, however, express yet again a degree of surprise at how few poetry panels there are. A closer examination of the program turns over a few more papers that explicitly took up poetry, but there is, to my mind, a surprising lack -- though it is a lack that Tanure Ojaide alluded to (albeit not without being taken somewhat to task, both rightly and wrongly, considering this program) in the earlier writers' roundtable I attended.

Nothing to do, I suppose, but to continue to fight the good fight and sing from the rooftops.


Michelle said...

Gabeba's The Dream in the Next Body is a beautiful collection.

mark l lilleleht said...

I'm slowly working my way through Gabeba's Dream in bits and pieces (along with 4 or 5 other collections). The line of her's that I tweeted is from Dream, and I'm sure there will be a few more...