New Release Books by Nduka Otiono

Nduka Otiono is the author of DisPlace (2021), Voices in the Rainbow (2021), The Night Hides with a Knife (2021) and Love in a Time of Nightmares (2008).

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DisPlace

release date: Oct 19, 2021
DisPlace
DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono engages actively with a diasporic world: Otiono is equally at home critiquing petroculture in Nigeria and in Canada. His work straddles multiple poetic traditions and places African intellectual history at the forefront of an engagement with Western poetics. The poems in this selection are drawn from Otiono''s two published collections, Voices in the Rainbow, and Love in a Time of Nightmares, and the volume includes previously unpublished new poems. Peter Midgley’s introduction contextualizes Otiono''s work within the frame of diaspora and newer critical frames like Afropolitanism, attending to form as well as his political engagement. The volume concludes with an afterword written by the poet with Chris Dunton.

Voices in the Rainbow

release date: Jun 16, 2021
Voices in the Rainbow
In Voices in the Rainbow, the poet-protagonist sees himself as the "griot of a threatened tradition." The poems in this collection are therefore a heroic effort to rescue the ancestral oral tradition of bards and raconteurs from obsolescence by reinventing its tropes and techniques within the tradition of the written word. The use of musical accompaniment, of criers and choruses, and the resources and rhythms of song and chant as integral part of these poems lend them a multi-layered dimension which further reinforce the stylistic virtuosity displayed in the author''s earlier award-winning collection of short stories, The Night Hides with a Knife. The delight of the present volume is that it presents us with a palimpsest from which we can read back through contemporary poetic forms to an archaeology of the most ancient of poetic forms and devices. The range of voices extend from T.S. Eliot to Okigbo and a broad spectrum of new Nigerian poets. Poems take off from other poems, spiral into yet other poets to create a veritable symphony of voices as harmoniously blended as the colours of the rainbow. Praise for Voice in the Rainbow "There is a sense in Otiono''s Voices . . . of diverse influences, currents wide enough to hold Pablo Neruda and longer still to include Fela Anikulapo Kuti . . . There''s more than a hint in this -collection of an eclectic spirit drawing from so many sources to etch his own vision with determined power." - ThisDay "Through this artistic experimentation the poet proves again the point that it is through a common humanity that a poet speaks to readers and listeners even in places and times other than his own. He comes out as a repository of communal memory." - The Guardian "In knitting a thread of images from. . .English and African modern poets and imagists a delicately woven experimental work is produced. . .The language darts outwards. . . It smashes and soothes like the cunningness of the mouse that bites. . .Otiono''s global view in this work is unmistakable-as is his sense of humour and of love." - Sunday Monitor Review "Otiono reaches his greatest heights when employing alluring images to illustrate scenes of daily life which though are bizarre in themselves, have become too familiar and therefore shed the nature of their sordidness." - Dapo Adeniyi, writer, film director and publisher of Position magazine Otiono''s uniqueness lies in his incarnation of the lilting voice of a raconteur and folk singer through which he transmits his message, and more so, in the expansive eclecticism of his allusions. - John Otu, Lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Arts at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

The Night Hides with a Knife

release date: Apr 03, 2021
The Night Hides with a Knife
PRAISE FOR THE NIGHT HIDES WITH A KNIFE * * * * * * * * * * * "A respectable collection of short stories written in elegant and piquant style and demonstrates profound insight into human psychology." - Jury, ANA/Spectrum Prize "With this first collection of short stories, Nduka Otiono takes us on an impressive, multi-textual journey of resourcefulness and creativity that combines the best of the oral and scribal in Nigeria literary culture: traditional storytelling strategies and conventional narrative forms are overlaced with a fragmentary, postmodern reflexivity; the voice propels the pen, only to get trapped in the tape recorder." - Harry Garuba, poet and Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa "...a synthesis of the archetypal forms of the oral tradition with modern urban realism." - D.S. Izevbaye, Emeritus Professor of English and Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters "The issue in Nigerian fiction is no longer that of good and evil. Our experience in the postmodern and postcolonial times has driven us to beyond those fringes. As The Night Hides with a Knife has clearly symbolized, the issue is that of the beautiful and the ugly, the dark and the light, a distinction which must remain foregrounded in the consciousness of every Nigerian in order to remind us of our vanishing beauty and dream as a people." - Frank Uche Mowah, writer and former Head of Department of English, Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria "...challenges the stereotype notion that modern African prose lacks experimental forms. The...collection defies, and indeed straddles genre classification." - Monitor Review "Several years of craftsmanship have transformed the ten short stories in this collection into gems of chiseled prose...In these stories, we see the dreams of an entire generation reaching up for the lights or sinking into the fetid swamp of the nation''s grave." - The Guardian "There is...a deeply autobiographical tenor in the short stories, for they tend to proclaim the geography of Otiono''s times... The greatest achievement...is his deep and significant power of observation, in the surprising detail of his narrative." - Vanguard "The Night Hides with a Knife is a collection of familiar and somewhat absurd experiences...Nduka Otiono is unique because his exploration of experiences is stylized. In essence, he is a stylist at heart: manner matters a lot to him." - TheNews Magazine "Otiono''s painstaking assemblage of the loom of existence with its strands drawn from the nation''s socio-political realities is the staple of everyday life... By giving free reign to his imagination and inventiveness and by drawing on the rich and time-tested resources of the oral tradition and heritage of African literature, Otiono makes The Night Hides with a Knife an irresistible work in the narrative genre." - Weekend Times "Otiono''s ability to capture true life experiences manifests in stories like ''A Will to Survive'', ''Wings of Rebellion''..." - Sunday Times "These stories are experimental, displaying an awareness of modern currents and a delicate narrative sensitivity to autochthonous structures... Part of the assets [the author] displays are his sharp, smooth-flowing prose and his sense of adventure and experimentation...He is at his best when exploiting the structures of oral performance." - Wumi Raji, author of Long Dreams in Short Chapters: Essays in African Postcolonial Literary, Cultural and Political Criticisms.

Love in a Time of Nightmares

release date: Mar 01, 2008
Love in a Time of Nightmares
aHow might we make music in a burning house? Love in a Time of Nightmares shows us how. Lacerating and lyrical, these songs are fragments out of a still raging storm whose other name is Nigeria. Tenderness knits despair and hope together in this daring collection, and the product is the ambiguity that must be the stance of all those who dare sing in the midst of an inferno.a aIke Okonta, Department of Politics, University of Oxford, UK aNduka Otionoas excellent book begins a dialogue between Canadian poetics and the rich resources of Nigerian poetrya]. Africa has much to teach us, and here is an ideal place to learna]. Come and listen. You will be enchanted.a aBert Almon, poet and Professor, Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada aOnly an accomplished poet can write these remarkable poems, haunting and enchanting songs in smooth-flowing lines. Love in a Time of Nightmares is definitely mature and exhilaratinga]a memorable collection. You canat help but be mesmerized by these poems.a aTanure Ojaide, poet and Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA
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