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"This Was A Man!": A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo (October 14, 1944-June 25, 2012), Chukwuma Azuonye Jun 2012

"This Was A Man!": A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo (October 14, 1944-June 25, 2012), Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

A memorial tribute to one of the leading members of the the Biafran war generation of Nsukka poets. Dr. Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, October 14, 1944 to June 25, 2012.


This Was A Man: A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, Chukwuma Azuonye May 2012

This Was A Man: A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

A memorial tribute to one of the leading members of the the Biafran war generation of Nsukka poets. Dr. Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, October 14, 1944 to June 25, 2012.


This Was A Man: A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2011

This Was A Man: A Memorial Tribute To Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

A memorial tribute to one of the leading members of the Biafra war generation of Nsukka poets, Dr. Felix Emeka Okeke-Ezigbo, Ocober 14, 1944 to June 25, 2012.


The Muse Of Nigerian Poetry And The Coming Of Age Of Nigerian Literature, Chukwuma Azuonye May 2011

The Muse Of Nigerian Poetry And The Coming Of Age Of Nigerian Literature, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

No abstract provided.


The Muse Of Nigerian Poetry And The Coming Of Age Of Nigerian Literature, Chukwuma Azuonye Apr 2011

The Muse Of Nigerian Poetry And The Coming Of Age Of Nigerian Literature, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

No abstract provided.


‘Up These Hills To The Mountain Top’: Memories Of 'The Golden Sun' In Michael Echeruo's War Poems (Distanced), Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

‘Up These Hills To The Mountain Top’: Memories Of 'The Golden Sun' In Michael Echeruo's War Poems (Distanced), Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

One of the leading voices among the first generation of post-independence African modernist poets of the twentieth-century, Michael J. C. Echeruo's second collection of poetry, Distanced (1975), is, unlike his better-known first collection, Mortality (1968), characterized by direct phrasing and open accessibility—in terms of imagery and other signifiers—to the general reader. Composed within the first four years (1970-74) after the end of the Biafran war of independence of 1967-1970, the nineteen lyrics that make up this collection look back with extraordinary candor and passion into the future of the Biafran experience, especially with regard to the problems ...


'Clearing The Forest': Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Postwar Ode, ‘The Dreamer’, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

'Clearing The Forest': Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Postwar Ode, ‘The Dreamer’, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

The present essay is essentially a preliminary exploration of a previously unexplored territory of postcolonial, modernist African poetics—Gabriel Okara’s venture into the appropriation of the signs of the classical and latter-day European ode as a vehicle for both a satirical interrogation of the performance of the postcolonial civilian and military elite the dysfunctional Nigerian federation after its war against Biafra and for an understanding of the possibility of heroic regeneration in the face of the depth of , bordering on existentialist , into which the nation has been reduced by the post-civil war triumph of disorder in the hands of ...


Christopher Okigbo’S Intentions: A Critical Edition Of A Previously Unpublished Interview By Ivan Van Sertima, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

Christopher Okigbo’S Intentions: A Critical Edition Of A Previously Unpublished Interview By Ivan Van Sertima, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

This is a critical edition with emendations of lacunae from indelible inkblots and termite activity of an interview with Christopher Okigbo conducted in the mid-1960s by Ivan van Sertima, the distinguished Caribbean-American anthropologist, linguist, literary critic, Afrocentric historiographer, and founding-editor of The Journal of African Civilizations (New Brunswick, NJ), who passed away on May 29, 2009, at the age of 74. It was discovered in January 2006 among Okigbo’s unpublished papers, which I catalogued at the invitation of the Christopher Okigbo Foundation, in Brussels, Belgium, now part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.


‘The Monstrous Anger Of The Guns’: Critical Commentary On The War Poems Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

‘The Monstrous Anger Of The Guns’: Critical Commentary On The War Poems Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

Throughout the Biafran War of Independence from Nigeria (1967-1970), Gabriel Okara remained a committed Biafran. But he was neither an iconoclastic secessionist (determined to wantonly wreck any well-founded order, including the subaltern state of Nigeria) nor a romantic revolutionary (dreaming of a postcolonial African utopia rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the failed postcolonial state of Nigeria), he was a Biafran at a higher level of philosophical and humanist reasoning as eloquently argued throughout his war lyrics discussed in the present paper, whose themes include: commitment, nationalism and pacifism as they pertain to his Biafran experience; modern warfare ...


'The White Man Laughs': Commentary On The Satiric Dramatic Monologues Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

'The White Man Laughs': Commentary On The Satiric Dramatic Monologues Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

Examined in the present article are two early satiric lyrics of Gabriel Okara—“Once Upon a Time” and “He Laughed and Laughed and Laughed”—which are the products of the postcolonial cultural war environment in which the issues of modernity, alterity (otherness or difference) and afro-authenticity implicated in Achebe’s ripostes on the bigotry of the colonialist critic were central. The tone of this discourse amongst leading African intelligentsia was set in the 1930’s and 1940’s by four fellow south-eastern Nigerian writers in their semi-autobiographical blueprints for African cultural emancipation—Renascent Africa ((1937)) by Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996 ...


‘The Mystic Drum’: Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Love Lyrics, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2011

‘The Mystic Drum’: Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Love Lyrics, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

Structurally, Okara’s love lyric, “The Mystic Drum,” evinces a tripartite ritual pattern of initiation from innocence through intimacy to experience. By comparison to the way of Zen as manifested in the experience of Zen Master, Ch’ing Yuän Wei-hsin, this pattern resolves itself into an emotional and epistemological journey from conventional knowledge (born of innocence) through more intimate knowledge (born of closer apperception of reality) to substantial knowledge (born of experience). The substantial knowledge born of experience empowers the lover to understand that beneath the surface attractiveness of what we know very well (such as the women we love ...


‘The Mystic Drum’: Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Love Lyrics, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

‘The Mystic Drum’: Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Love Lyrics, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

Structurally, Okara’s love lyric, “The Mystic Drum,” evinces a tripartite ritual pattern of initiation from innocence through intimacy to experience. By comparison to the way of Zen as manifested in the experience of Zen Master, Ch’ing Yuän Wei-hsin, this pattern resolves itself into an emotional and epistemological journey from conventional knowledge (born of innocence) through more intimate knowledge (born of closer apperception of reality) to substantial knowledge (born of experience). The substantial knowledge born of experience empowers the lover to understand that beneath the surface attractiveness of what we know very well (such as the women we love ...


'Clearing The Forest': Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Postwar Ode, ‘The Dreamer’, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

'Clearing The Forest': Critical Commentary On Gabriel Okara’S Postwar Ode, ‘The Dreamer’, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

The present essay is essentially a preliminary exploration of a previously unexplored territory of postcolonial, modernist African poetics—Gabriel Okara’s venture into the appropriation of the signs of the classical and latter-day European ode as a vehicle for both a satirical interrogation of the performance of the postcolonial civilian and military elite the dysfunctional Nigerian federation after its war against Biafra and for an understanding of the possibility of heroic regeneration in the face of the depth of , bordering on existentialist , into which the nation has been reduced by the post-civil war triumph of disorder in the hands of ...


The Quest For Fulfillment: A Study Of The Organic Unity Of Christopher Okigbo’S Poetry, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

The Quest For Fulfillment: A Study Of The Organic Unity Of Christopher Okigbo’S Poetry, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

A comprehensive and systematic close-reading of Okigbo’s poetry from Four Canzones and other early poems to Path of Thunder and the unfinished “Anthem for Biafra’, this book unveils the narrative and dramatic continuity underlying Okigbo’s claim, in his preface to Labyrinths, that “although these poems were written and published separately, they are in fact organically related.” Using the traditional tools of explication du textes and assiduously rebuffing all obscurantist theoretical models, Azuonye delineates the character of the vicarious selves of the poet-protagonist through the labyrinths of his quest for fulfillment and brings powerful evidence of recurrent tropes and ...


The Burden Of Several Centuries: Papers From The 2007 Christopher Okigbo Conference, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

The Burden Of Several Centuries: Papers From The 2007 Christopher Okigbo Conference, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

A major landmark in the history of modern African letters, the 2007 Christopher Okigbo Conference, co-sponsored by Harvard, Boston University and UMass Boston, attracted scholars, intellectuals and artists from Africa, Europe and the Americas, including Achebe, Adichie, Brutus, Echeruo, Mazrui, Echeruo, and several writers of the younger generations. In vigorous debates over three packed days, Okigbo’s life and poetry were revisited from a wide diversity of perspectives framed by the theme, “Postcolonial African Literature and the ideals of the Open Society.” This book brings together the fruits of these explorations—50 poignant papers which represent an attestation of the ...


Christopher Okigbo: The Critical Groundwork, 1962-2007, Edited With A Critical Introduction, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

Christopher Okigbo: The Critical Groundwork, 1962-2007, Edited With A Critical Introduction, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

This collection of essays covers the entire spectrum of Okigbo criticism from the earliest reviews of Heavensgate and the celebrated interviews of 1962-65 to criticism anticipating the 2007 international conference on the poetry and life of Africa’s leading transnational modernist poet of the 20th century, Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967). Divided into two parts, Part I presents biographical essays and essays offering general surveys of the Okigbo corpus or its themes from comparative and other perspectives while Part II offers focused studies of individual works from Four Canzones to Labyrinths and Path of Thunder. The collection concludes with the most comprehensive ...


Christopher Okigbo: Complete Poetry, Edited With A Critical Introduction, Commentary And Notes., Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

Christopher Okigbo: Complete Poetry, Edited With A Critical Introduction, Commentary And Notes., Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

This is the first ever collection of the complete poetry of Africa’s foremost transnational modernist poet of the twentieth-century, Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967), edited with a Critical Introduction, Commentary and Notes. Includes previously unpublished poems, among them the first drafts of early poems in Igbo and fragments of an unfinished Anthem to Biafra. Labyrinths is presented as prepared for publication by Okigbo himself side by side with Elegies for Thunder (including Path of Thunder) as conceived by the poet. Currently in press.


‘The Monstrous Anger Of The Guns’: Critical Commentary On The War Poems Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

‘The Monstrous Anger Of The Guns’: Critical Commentary On The War Poems Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

Throughout the Biafran War of Independence from Nigeria (1967-1970), Gabriel Okara remained a committed Biafran. But he was neither an iconoclastic secessionist (determined to wantonly wreck any well-founded order, including the subaltern state of Nigeria) nor a romantic revolutionary (dreaming of a postcolonial African utopia rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the failed postcolonial state of Nigeria), he was a Biafran at a higher level of philosophical and humanist reasoning as eloquently argued throughout his war lyrics discussed in the present paper, whose themes include: commitment, nationalism and pacifism as they pertain to his Biafran experience; modern warfare ...


Christopher Okigbo’S Intentions: A Critical Edition Of A Previously Unpublished Interview By Ivan Van Sertima, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

Christopher Okigbo’S Intentions: A Critical Edition Of A Previously Unpublished Interview By Ivan Van Sertima, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

This is a critical edition with emendations of lacunae from indelible inkblots and termite activity of an interview with Christopher Okigbo conducted in the mid-1960s by Ivan van Sertima, the distinguished Caribbean-American anthropologist, linguist, literary critic, Afrocentric historiographer, and founding-editor of The Journal of African Civilizations (New Brunswick, NJ), who passed away on May 29, 2009, at the age of 74. It was discovered in January 2006 among Okigbo’s unpublished papers, which I catalogued at the invitation of the Christopher Okigbo Foundation, in Brussels, Belgium, now part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.


'The White Man Laughs': Commentary On The Satiric Dramatic Monologues Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

'The White Man Laughs': Commentary On The Satiric Dramatic Monologues Of Gabriel Okara, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

Examined in the present article are two early satiric lyrics of Gabriel Okara—“Once Upon a Time” and “He Laughed and Laughed and Laughed”—which are the products of the postcolonial cultural war environment in which the issues of modernity, alterity (otherness or difference) and afro-authenticity implicated in Achebe’s ripostes on the bigotry of the colonialist critic were central. The tone of this discourse amongst leading African intelligentsia was set in the 1930’s and 1940’s by four fellow south-eastern Nigerian writers in their semi-autobiographical blueprints for African cultural emancipation—Renascent Africa ((1937)) by Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996 ...


‘Up These Hills To The Mountain Top’: Memories Of 'The Golden Sun' In Michael Echeruo's War Poems (Distanced), Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2010

‘Up These Hills To The Mountain Top’: Memories Of 'The Golden Sun' In Michael Echeruo's War Poems (Distanced), Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

One of the leading voices among the first generation of post-independence African modernist poets of the twentieth-century, Michael J. C. Echeruo's second collection of poetry, Distanced (1975), is, unlike his better-known first collection, Mortality (1968), characterized by direct phrasing and open accessibility—in terms of imagery and other signifiers—to the general reader. Composed within the first four years (1970-74) after the end of the Biafran war of independence of 1967-1970, the nineteen lyrics that make up this collection look back with extraordinary candor and passion into the future of the Biafran experience, especially with regard to the problems ...


The African Roots Of Michael Echeruo’S Poetry: A Close-Reading Of ‘Sophia’, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2010

The African Roots Of Michael Echeruo’S Poetry: A Close-Reading Of ‘Sophia’, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

This paper argues that, contrary to widespread opinion, the poetry of first generation, postcolonial, modernist Nigerian poet, Michael J. C. Echeruo, draws some of its core and defining tropes from indigenous African system of thought and symbolism. The much maligned early poem "Sophia" is subjected to line-by-line close-reading to illustrate this argument. The analysis suggests that, as a matter of fact, "Sophia" can be read as a portal to Echeruo's poetic corpus as a whole.


Achebe's Igbo Poems: Oral Traditional Resources And The Process Of ‘Deschooling’ In Modern African Poetics, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2010

Achebe's Igbo Poems: Oral Traditional Resources And The Process Of ‘Deschooling’ In Modern African Poetics, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

The present paper examines the diction, imagery and other features of language and style in Chinua Achebe's two Igbo poems ("Uno Onwu Okigbo" and "Akuko Kpulu Uwa Iru"). Disposing of charges of plagiarism levied on Achebe on account of his modeling of the poems on well-known Igbo folk songs, the paper argues that what is rather involved in the compositional process is a process of "deschooling" from the strictures of European or Eurocentric conventions of versification. It concludes that a process of "deschooling" of this kind is one way in which African writers can begin their journey back with ...


The African Roots Of Michael Echeruo’S Poetry: A Close-Reading Of ‘Sophia’, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2009

The African Roots Of Michael Echeruo’S Poetry: A Close-Reading Of ‘Sophia’, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

This paper argues that, contrary to widespread opinion, the poetry of first generation, postcolonial, modernist Nigerian poet, Michael J. C. Echeruo, draws some of its core and defining tropes from indigenous African system of thought and symbolism. The much maligned early poem "Sophia" is subjected to line-by-line close-reading to illustrate this argument. The analysis suggests that, as a matter of fact, "Sophia" can be read as a portal to Echeruo's poetic corpus as a whole.


Achebe's Igbo Poems: Oral Traditional Resources And The Process Of ‘Deschooling’ In Modern African Poetics, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2009

Achebe's Igbo Poems: Oral Traditional Resources And The Process Of ‘Deschooling’ In Modern African Poetics, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

The present paper examines the diction, imagery and other features of language and style in Chinua Achebe's two Igbo poems ("Uno Onwu Okigbo" and "Akuko Kpulu Uwa Iru"). Disposing of charges of plagiarism levied on Achebe on account of his modeling of the poems on well-known Igbo folk songs, the paper argues that what is rather involved in the compositional process is a process of "deschooling" from the strictures of European or Eurocentric conventions of versification. It concludes that a process of "deschooling" of this kind is one way in which African writers can begin their journey back with ...


Christopher Okigbo International Conference: A Multidisciplinary Celebration Of Okigbo’S Legacy, September 19-23, 2007: An Illustrated Sourvenir Program, Chukwuma Azuonye Sep 2007

Christopher Okigbo International Conference: A Multidisciplinary Celebration Of Okigbo’S Legacy, September 19-23, 2007: An Illustrated Sourvenir Program, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

An illustrated sourvenir program of the 2007 Christopher Okigbo conference with introductory remarks on its theme, abstracts of the papers presented and historic photographs of Okigbo, his family, friends and a heavily edited manuscript of one of his poems.


Christopher Okigbo At Work: Towards A Pilot Study And Critical Edition Of His Previously Unpublished Poems, 1957-1967, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 2007

Christopher Okigbo At Work: Towards A Pilot Study And Critical Edition Of His Previously Unpublished Poems, 1957-1967, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

The objectives of the present paper are two-fold. The first is to produce a critical edition of the complete corpus of the previously unpublished papers of Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967), who is today widely acknowledged as by far the most outstanding postcolonial, Anglophone, African, modernist poet of the 20th century. The second is to offer a pilot critical interpretation of the previously unknown poems in the corpus and to ascertain their place in the Okigbo canon. In 2007 these papers became the first corpus of unpublished works to be nominated and accepted into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The ...


Christopher Okigbo International Conference: A Multidisciplinary Celebration Of Okigbo’S Legacy, September 19-23, 2007: Program., Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2006

Christopher Okigbo International Conference: A Multidisciplinary Celebration Of Okigbo’S Legacy, September 19-23, 2007: Program., Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

An illustrated Sourvenir Program of the International Conference on the Life and Career of Africa's leading Anglophone, postcolonial, transnational poet of the 20th Century, Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967), with a Preface and Introduction focussing on the theme, Postcolonial African Poetry and the Ideals of the Open Society/Teaching and Learning from the Poetry of Christopher Okigbo


Christopher Okigbo At Work: Towards A Pilot Study And Critical Edition Of His Previously Unpublished Poems, 1957-1967, Chukwuma Azuonye Dec 2006

Christopher Okigbo At Work: Towards A Pilot Study And Critical Edition Of His Previously Unpublished Poems, 1957-1967, Chukwuma Azuonye

Chukwuma Azuonye

The objectives of the present paper are two-fold. The first is to produce a critical edition of the complete corpus of the previously unpublished papers of Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967), who is today widely acknowledged as by far the most outstanding postcolonial, Anglophone, African, modernist poet of the 20th century. The second is to offer a pilot critical interpretation of the previously unknown poems in the corpus and to ascertain their place in the Okigbo canon. In 2007 these papers became the first corpus of unpublished works to be nominated and accepted into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The ...


'The Big Canvass": An Interview With Mazisi Kunene, Chukwuma Azuonye Jan 1996

'The Big Canvass": An Interview With Mazisi Kunene, Chukwuma Azuonye

Africana Studies Faculty Publication Series

In the present interview, recorded in his office, in July,1996, during an NEH Summer-long Seminar on the Literature and Culture of the New South Africa in which I participated, Kunene reflects on the challenges of the New South Africa and offers some illuminating insights into the impetus behind his choice of the epic as a mode of communication, his interest in the African world view and cosmology, the variety of his writing and interests beyond the epics for which he was best known, and his vision of the commonalty of all African cultures. In this, as in his creative ...