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And while there has been an outpouring of respect for the struggle veteran, Umkhonto weSizwe commander, traditional healer, member of Parliament, poet and novelist, the literary fraternity has also bemoaned the fact that younger writers and women have been overlooked for the third time in a row. Artists & Reviews 

Meet South Africa’s Newest Poet Laureate

  But some say it was a woman’s turn   The grand old man of liberation poetry, Professor Mongane Wally Serote, was named South Africa’s third poet laureate at a slightly shambolic SA Literary Awards event in Pretoria this week. And while there has been an outpouring of respect for the struggle veteran, Umkhonto weSizwe commander, traditional healer, member of Parliament, poet and novelist, the literary fraternity has also bemoaned the fact that younger writers and women have been overlooked for the third time in a row. A poet laureate…

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She Would be King tells the early formation story of Liberia through historical fiction and magical realism. By exploring her own familiar history, Wayetu Moore’s debut novel offers a powerful exploration of Liberia’s relationship with colonization by freed American slaves. Moore’s literary contribution to the Liberian story is one that exudes an important brilliance that shows creativity, thought, and the true essence of Liberian Girl Magic. Artists & Reviews 

8 Books by Liberian Authors for Your Bookshelf

by Karkay Adrienne Tingba   Liberia has been telling its own stories for many generations – be it written or orally. The world, however, at some point collectively decided that story could not be told beyond the vulgar violence of civil war, poverty, disease, etc. Liberians on the other hand, know that their stories, even if about experiences in the war, carries deeper dimensions beyond the single story of barbarity to which they’ve been subjected; and we all know the dangers of a single story thanks to our Nigerian sister…

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Born in Pleebo, Southeastern Liberia in West Africa, Cde Cherbo Geeplay is a Pan African poet; the Liberian native writes about: Africa, the Liberian civil war and its tragedy, and his Grebo heritage. His recently published short story: A CHECK POINT AWAY FROM DYING, was published by a literary magazine in the United States, which foretold the dire struggles of a family desperately trying to survive a gruesome war. Geeplay was among the younger Liberian youth, forced to attend college during the brutal civil war. He studied at the University of Liberia, majoring in Journalism and while in college, worked in the media as A senior staff reporter for several news outlets. His work has been described as layered and intelligent. His poetry first appeared in Sea Breeze Journal (Liberia) and in the Blue Lake Review (New York), Rigorous, a New Orleans based literary magazine, was also the publisher of his poems and debut short story. Geeplay have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies and was THE FINALIST OF THE ADELAIDE LITERARY AWARD FOR POETRY in Adelaide Literary Magazine, 2018, based in New York, also. Cde Cherbo Geeplay is the editor of an online journal, The Liberian Listener, and lives in Edmonton Alberta, Canada, with his family. Artists & Reviews 

Three Poems: Behind Those Walls, By Cherbo Geeplay

  Born in Pleebo, Southeastern Liberia in West Africa, Comrade Cherbo Geeplay is a Pan African poet; the Liberian native writes about: Africa, the Liberian civil war and its tragedy, and his Grebo heritage. His recently published short story: A CHECK POINT AWAY FROM DYING, was published by a literary magazine in the United States, which foretold the dire struggles of a family desperately trying to survive a gruesome war. Geeplay was among the younger Liberian youth, forced to attend college during the brutal civil war. He studied at the University of…

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“My dad worked overtime to preserve our childhood,” Ms. Moore said. Gunshots in the distance became “dragons fighting” and dead bodies on the streets were people “sleeping on the road.” Artists & Reviews 

In Wayétu Moore’s Ambitious Debut Novel, Liberia Is Reborn

    “She Would Be King” reframes the country’s history in magical terms.   By Lovia Gyarkye   When Wayétu Moore was 5 years old, she and her family fled Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. It was 1989 and the country was caught in a violent civil war. Ms. Moore, her father and two sisters took refuge in her maternal grandmother’s home village near Liberia’s border with Sierra Leone. “My dad worked overtime to preserve our childhood,” Ms. Moore said. Gunshots in the distance became “dragons fighting” and dead bodies…

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A gentle breeze blew across the garden, the flowers swaying gently as the sun rose. The house was as quiet as a deathbed. Musue heard a bee buzzing in the next room; it was the only sound in the house that could be heard. Her husband was unusually quiet the last few days. Even though he was not talkative, she realized he his woeful disposition was too uncomfortable, and this broke her heart; the more she thought about him. He was still doing his best to cheer her, but the weight of the situation as it appears was beyond him. She had reached the point where she wanted to tell him what was bugging her. Artists & Reviews 

A Checkpoint Away From Dying: R. Cherbo Geeplay

A SHORT STORY Musue wore a colorful green and yellow cotton lappa, large, silver hoop earrings, and silver bangles to match. She stretched her slender arms and sighed loudly, “Oh Lord!” as she stood facing the street. She glanced at her face reflected in the window-pane. Her image stared back at her, flushed with sorrow and pain. She peered through the window again looking out. Birds and bees were flirting with the flowers in the courtyard, the morning was early. The sunlight poured over her and filled the room. She…

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Romeo-Mark grew up in the West Indies, where her family drifted from island to island looking for work. In a series of gripping poems, she takes us inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands: a pastiche of hunger and oppression that makes survival a daily struggle. Artists & Reviews News 

Althea Romeo-Mark: The Nakedness of New

    In this remarkable collection, Althea Romeo-Mark uses poetry like a lance, a magnifying glass, and a soothing balm. Her verse gives the reader a close-up view of life as an immigrant in the Caribbean and details her experiences in England after fleeing the violence of the Liberian civil war. Romeo-Mark grew up in the West Indies, where her family drifted from island to island looking for work. In a series of gripping poems, she takes us inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands:…

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In 1974, she was imprisoned for six months for violating her banning order by lunching with her two children and another banned person. The government was relentlessly sadistic. In 1975, after 13 years of banning, there were 10 months of "freedom", but then came five more months of prison. In 1977, she was banned again for give years, and in 1982 for another five years. In 1986, Winnie Mandela was released at last. For the first time in a quarter of a century, she was as free as a Black person ever gets in South Africa. Artists & Reviews News Tributes 

The Complicated Legacy of Winnie Mandela

When Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died from illness at age 81 on Monday, she left behind a fraught legacy. The woman who gained fame as Nelson Mandela’s wife earned her place by her own right as a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, an aggressive and outspoken champion of poor blacks in the country under the repressive hand of the white minority government. But she also gained notoriety for episodes of corruption and, more notably, her behind-the-scene role in violence that terrorized her own community and left her fending off…

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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…

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Artists & Reviews News Tributes 

PHOTO ESSAY: HUGH MASEKELA: JAZZ LEGEND, 1939-2018

  April 4th 1939—January 23, 2018 Hugh Masekela, a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remains deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkles. He was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At the age of 14, the deeply respected advocator of equal rights in South Africa, Father Trevor Huddleston, provided Masekela with a trumpet and, soon after, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed. Masekela began to hone his, now signature, Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period…

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Artists & Reviews Op-ed 

From Barbados to Liberia: A deep look into the first Barbadian settlement in Liberia

    It was Edward Wilmot Blyden in consultation with President Daniel Bashiel Warner who developed the plan to encourage emigration to Liberia from the West Indies. Blyden was Secretary of State. He organised a Commission to the West Indies in 1862 to encourage West Indians to return to the Fatherland and to the first free black republic as Liberians identified their new homeland. Blyden had gone back to his birthplace, St. Thomas, and launched a circular appeal throughout the islands. Soon, he was receiving hundreds of letters enquiring about…

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