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How Does the Rain Sound? confirms Barth Akpah’s talent as a poet. Confidently rendering memorable experiences and sensitive to the predicament of his compatriots, his distinctive poetic voice recreates shared experiences with inimitable freshness. Reading Akpah, we encounter a voice that constantly echoes the ordinary Nigerians’ groaning, memories, and legitimate aspirations. But he does not just create a world of pains and pangs. The energy of his poetry marks lived experience. The world of his poems reflects poetics that equitably characterises the human experience, blending the public with the private and the serious with the trivial. Certainly, his work operates within a new tradition of Nigerian poetry which thrives substantially within a cosmopolitan poetic imagination derived from living and experiencing life within and outside the homeland. It is not weighed down by despair but is shot through with unwavering optimism and inpatient anticipation of a new dawn.
The poems in this collection lend themselves to a bewildering amalgam of interpretive possibilities — sociological, humanism, feminism, postcolonial, formalism, semiotics, onomastics, eco-criticism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, and the like.
With a searing vision and courageous conviction, this volume navigates Nigeria’s perpetual corporate becoming as a postcolonial state on its way to Golgotha. This poetry titillates but also opens deep, weeping wounds.
Barth Akpah’s How Does the Rain Sound? stirs readers into conversations; his poetry has become voice of the street, of the poor who have been forgotten by their leaders, silenced by their silencer.
Splendid! Provocative and alluring tone, which resonates exceptional beacons of courage, faith, and transparency on diverse aspects of despondent and disparaged humanity. The messages are rich and crystal, showcasing the quagmire of disenchanted postcolonial Africa. Like a determined farmer, Akpah plants his crop of distilled words on the fertile land of metaphors and imagery, that indeed, they may stand against the mortality of tongues…
Barth Akpah’s second offering casts us on the borderlines of rage and grief, to find their tenor and texture, at once sardonic and serious, and at the end leaving us hopeless or full of hope still by love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barth Akpah hails from Uhuata Nanwu, Ezinesi Oduma, Aninri, Enugu State, Nigeria. He is the Chair, Department of Languages and Literature, William V. S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia. He is a poet-scholar with several publications, a fellow of Ife Institute of Advanced Studies and author of Land of Tales, published in 2019. He has taught English courses at some universities in Nigeria including the University of Ibadan where he had his university education before leaving for Liberia as an expatriate. Akpah is one of the 2022 awardees of Library of Africa and the African Diaspora West African Writers’ Residency, Accra, Ghana. How Does the Rain Sound? is his second poetry collection.
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