FRI-YAY Author Profile: Chijioke Amu-nnadi - Zinny's Blog




FRI-YAY Author Profile: Chijioke Amu-nnadi

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Chijioke Amu-nnadi is a Nigerian who writes predominantly poetry. He does not like being called a Nigerian nor African poet because, as he insists, there is nothing more demeaning of art as to attempt, out of extreme social prejudice, cultural arrogance and/or lazy intellectual convenience, to confine it to a particular area, place, gender and time. Art, he maintains, is too transcendental for that.

He is the author of six collections of poems, 'the fire within', winner of the ANA Gabriel Okara Prize for Poetry, 'pilgrim's passage', shortlisted for the 2005 Nigeria Prize for Literature, 'through the window of a sandcastle', winner of the 2013 ANA Poetry Prize, runner-up to the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature and winner of the 2014 Glenna Luschei African Poetry Book Prize, as well as 'a field of echoes', 'eucalyptus' and 'a river's journey'.

A graduate of Mass Communications from the prestigious University of Nigeria, where he was the recipient of the Alumni Prize to the Best Graduating Student in General Studies, the Departmental Prize to the Best Graduating Student as well as the Daily Times Prize to the Best Graduating Student in Mass Communication, amu nnadi enjoys an enduring love affair with writing.

He is a philosopher who describes himself as a lover of love and the elements. He insists on writing poetry without capital letters and full stops, declaring that poetry is life itself and is the spirit of God working through humanity to extend creation and enrich life. As he says: "life is a seamless stream of many commas but no stops. Poetry is bigger in all estimation than man."

In spite of writing award-winning books, therefore, amu nnadi says that because he wrote his first poem in his sleep, he is always asking questions of who and what makes us write. If we can write when not fully conscious, he queries, can we truly claim to be the real owners of what we write? He has never ceased to wonder if we were not mere vessels in the hands of a great influence, conveniently called Muse.

This reflects in the practice of his poetic craft. In his own words: "Life is a train of unbreakable and uncontrollable motions and emotions. Its essence is not in the punctuations, but in the stories themselves that life unveils. Life is a rimless spiritual adventure teeming with mysteries and the mysterious."

amu nnadi also publishes without personal data. You will not find his personal names, his photograph nor his bio data on his books because he believes that man cannot fully own what he writes. There is nothing more presumptively arrogant and self promoting, he says.

Despite writing most of the time, amu nnadi is an experienced business communications professional and seasoned journalist. He is currently a Deputy Director at the Niger Delta Development Commission, Port Harcourt, an agency in the Presidency which is facilitating the sustainable development of Nigeria's oil-rich region. He is married and is blessed with three children.

Harmattan Rage (By amu nnadi)

i hear in the disconsolate moans
of the cold harmattan wind
the bitterness of an unloved man
his heart is dry, filled with dust
corrupting everything with sadness
on and on the harmattan rages
rattling every door and window
seeking a heart in which to enter
a house where love is warm meal
and embrace awaits like folded duvet
there are no windows easily opened
to complaining mouths of bitter men
hearts are no happy receptacles
of love that carries dust and dryness
and so the harmattan goes berserk
beating walls, roads and what can't move
shaving beauty off trees and shrubs
cracking lips in fits of cruel rage
so you can neither laugh nor sing of
his breaking, disconsolate twig of a heart
in closed hearts, gathering dust of disregard

Culled from eucalyptus
Amu Nnadi
Origami Books

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