Abayomi Animashaun is a Nigerian immigrant who came to the United States in the mid 1990s. He holds an MFA from the International Writing Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a PhD from the University of Kansas. He is the author of three poetry collections: Seahorses, Sailing for Ithaca, and The Giving Pears, and the editor of three anthologies: Far Villages : Welcome Essay for New & Beginner Poets, Others Will Enter The Gates: Immigrant Poets On Poetry: Influences and Writing in America, and Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa. Sailing for Ithaca is a travelogue of an inner country that’s full of ports and welcoming entry points. Passports mean nothing here. There are no border agents. There are no uniformed guards. “Enter where you can. / Leave in delight.”
Containing the work of more than 40 poets equally divided between men and women who self-identify as Afro-Latino, ¡Manteca! is the first poetry anthology to highlight writings by Latinos of African descent. The themes covered are as diverse as the authors themselves. Many pieces rail against a system that institutionalizes poverty and racism. Others remember parents and grandparents who immigrated to the United States in search of a better life, only to learn that the American Dream is a nightmare for someone with dark skin and nappy hair. But in spite of the darkness, faith remains. Anthony Morales' grandmother, like so many others, was "hardwired to hold on to hope." There are love poems to family and lovers. And music salsa, merengue, jazz permeates this collection.
From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a poignant collection of autobiographical poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark. The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward's collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence--so clear and pared-down, they become universal. From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society's expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward's bone resonate to the core of what it means to be human.
Kwame Dawes is the Ghanian-born, award-winning author of twenty-one books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He has won Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emmy, and was the 2013 awardee of the Paul Engel Prize. He currently teaches at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Chris Abani, a Nigerian-born, award-winning poet and novelist, currently teaches at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is the recipient of a PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond Margins Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, and a Guggenheim Award. The limited-edition box set is an annual project started in 2014 to ensure the publication of up to a dozen chapbooks by African poets through Akashic Books. The series seeks to identify the best poetry written by African poets working today, and it is especially interested in featuring poets who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry. The ten poets included in this box set are: Hiwot Adilow, Dalia Elhassan, Charity Hutete, Nour Kamel, Daisy Odey, Salawu Olajide, Musawenkosi Khanyile, Dina El Dessouky, Ama Asantewa Diaka, and 'Gbenga Adeoba.
Ladan Osman is a Somali-American poet and teacher. Her poetry is centered on her Somali and Muslim heritage, and has been published in a number of prominent literary magazines. Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony is based on a Somali insult: jiko muufo. Translated literally as "kitchen flatbread," the insult criticizes those women who love domestic work so much that they happily watch bread rise. This collection of poems examines the varied ways women navigate gender roles, while examining praise for success within roles where imagination about female ability is limited. The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony is about love and longing, divorce, distilled desire, and all the ways we injure ourselves and one another. Osman was named the winner of the annual Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets for her collection The Kitchen Dweller's Testimony. Her work has also appeared in Apogee, The Normal School, Prairie Schooner, Transition Magazine, and Waxwing.