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The New African Poetry: An Anthology

Tanure Ojaide and Tijan M. Sallah, editors
The New African Poetry: An Anthology
ISBN: 978-0-89410-879-2
ISBN: 978-0-89410-891-4
1999/234 pages/LC: 99-29889

"This impressive anthology—the most comprehensive in years in terms of gender, geography, and nationality—hopefully will turn the tide in favor of attention to the continent's contemporary bards.... Equally important, the informative introduction contextualizes the volume within the continent's recent artistic renaissance."—Worldview

"The New African Poetry should be required reading for the Africanists among historians and political scientists as a vital window into indigenous concerns and nonconcerns."—Chris Waters, World Literature Today

"This anthology reverberates with a diversity of styles, themes, and ideologies that have made a conscious break with Africa's stagnant colonial literary heritage. Carving out its own distinctive niche, the emergent poetry is a revealing blend of individuality and indigenous elements of the oral tradition."—Edward Erazo, MultiCultural Review

"These forward-looking and energetic poems reveal that new African poets ‘sing of a world reshaped'."—Library Journal


This anthology presents the voices of a new generation of African poets, drawn from across the continent and representing a wide range of themes, styles, and ideologies. These contemporary voices have been shaped in the realities of postcolonial Africa from the mid-1970s to the present. In contrast to the preceding generation—forged in the years of nationalist movements and independence—they are less concerned with European culture and colonial oppression and draw more on indigenous poetic and literary techniques than on euromodernist mannerisms.

The poets featured here focus on internal political, economic, and cultural issues in African societies and on their own experiences in the world, revealing a measured self-criticism of the paths their societies are following.


Tanure Ojaide has published eight collections of his own poetry, a memoir, and two books of literary essays, including Poetic Imagination in Black Africa; his work has also appeared in numerous anthologies. He is professor of African and African-American studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Tijan M. Sallah is author of three poetry collections and a book of short stories, and is editor of New Poets of West Africa (1995).


The Anthology includes works from: CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICA. Democratic Republic of Congo ~ Mukula Kadima-Nzuji; Kenya ~ Jared Angira; Malawi ~ Steve Chimombo, Frank Chipasula, Jack Mapanje, Lupenga Mphande, Edison Mpina; Tanzania ~ Freddy Macha; Uganda ~ Assumpta Acam- Oturu. NORTH AFRICA. Egypt ~ Amal Danqul, Abdul Maqsoud, Abdul Karim, Amal Dunqul, Iman Mirsal, Ahmed Taha; Morocco ~ Mohammad Bennis, Rachida Madani; Sudan ~ Muhammad ‘Abd al-Hayy; Tunisia ~ Muhammad al-Ghuzzi, Amina Said. SOUTHERN AFRICA. Angola ~ Joao Pedro, Jofra Rocha; South Africa ~ Mafika Pascal Gwala, Zindi Mandela,Gcina Mhlophe, Luvuyo Mkangelwa, Christine (Douts) Qunta, Leseko Rampolekeng, Mongane Wally Serote; Zimbabwe ~ Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera, Kristina Rungano, Masaemura Zimunya. WEST AFRICA. Cameroon ~ Fernando D'Almeida, Gahlia Gwangwa'a, Sim Kombem; Cape Verde ~ Adelina da Silva, Alberto Ferreira Gomes, Luis Andrade Silva; Cote d'Ivoire ~ Veronique Tadjo; Gambia ~ Tijan Sallah; Ghana ~ Kobena Eyi- Acquah, Kofi Anyidoho, Abena Busia, Naana Banyiwa Horne, Kojo Laing, Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang; Guinea ~ Ahmed Tidjani- Cisse; Niger ~ Oumarou Watta; Nigeria ~ Catherine Acholonu, Funso Aiyejina, Ifi Amadiume, Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Angela Miri, Chimalum Nwankwo, Odia Ofeimun, Tanure Ojaide, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare, Mabel Tobrise; Senegal ~ Amadou Lamine Sall; Sierra Leone ~ Syl Cheney-Coker, Iyamide Hazeley.