You are here
Philis Wheatly was a young African slave woman with incredible amount of talent and creativity. When she had the manuscript of her first collection of poems, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious, and Moral,” it was not published in America because the publishers or printers could not believe that a “negro” could write those poems. The book was first published in London in the fall of 1773. This singular effort by Phillis Wheatly is considered as the foundation of African American literature. It would take 86 years from 1773 for the first African American novel to be published. This was written by Harriet E. Wilson in 1859. Artists & Reviews 

Common Themes in African and African American Literatures

    By Nvasekie N. Konneh   To fully understand and appreciate African and African American literatures or fictions for that matter, it’s imperative to understand the historical backgrounds of their experiences. First it was the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which brought millions of Africans to Europe and America as slaves to plantations in America and elsewhere. European colonization of Africa subsequently, followed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Both of these were very dehumanizing for the Africans. They experienced degradation as they were considered less human than others. The main justification of…

Read More
Okpewho is one of the finest and prolific scholars in the field of oral literature in Africa and Europe in the last three decades Artists & Reviews News 

Okpewho orature and African literature

    The land of the living was not far removed from the domain of the ancestors. There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors.A man’s life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors (Chinua Achebe, 1958:97).” The above excerpt from Chinua Achebe is a fitting tribute to Professor Isidore Okpewho, the doyen of African oral literature who departed…

Read More
Artists & Reviews Society Arts & Leisure 

Africa: prestigious Brunel Poetry Prize name shortlists candidates tomorrow

The 2017 international Brunel poetry prize shortlists will be announced tomorrow March 6th 2017. The Brunel prize for poetry is the African poetry prize that spots new talents every year on the African continent and the diaspora, and is composed of several eminent luminary poets drawn from across the globe. According to the site “The winner,” will be “announced  on May 2nd 2017. The Brunel International African Poetry Prize is a major annual poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. Now in its fourth year, this year the Prize is sponsored by Brunel…

Read More
Artists & Reviews Politics 

Caine Prize: For Emergent African Writers, or the Best African Writers

This essay was originally published in the second volume of Oduor Oduku’s KUT Anthology.  It’s hard to tell the story of contemporary African literature without talking about the Caine Prize for African Writing. It’s the biggest and most prominent prize for African Literature—or at least the best publicized—and in the 17 years of its existence, what it means to say “African Literature” has changed quite dramatically, a transformation the Caine Prize has in part reflected, and in part helped to produce. This is easy to see at the level of the individual writers:…

Read More