Thursday, April 27, 2006 Down

I sincerely apologise to my visitors at who receive a range of error messages. That site is currenty down and will be relaunched in on June 15th, 2006

Blogging Sentinel Poetry Live!

for those of you who like to hear a poet read his/her poems, Sentinel Poetry Live! events present an opportunity to hear new and established poets read or perform their works. We have now created a blog for these readings and performances series at

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Dance For Her Tiger: Memories of Idu Iyi Rite

Non-fiction by Nnorom Azuonye

The village square bustles with life and excitement. It is just before dawn, and crows of cocks fill the air. A young man's cheeks swell in a labor of melody around the spout of his flute. Unmarried maidens and young men dance and tease in a ring of rhythm around the beautiful Elesola. She is the bright flower Ugente recently plucked from Ahaba only the week before, the temptress he has planted in his yard at Ohaukabi to please him every day and beget his flowerets. Full Story

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Drumvoices Revue: 4 West Coast Premieres April 20-23, 2006

Below is a Press Release from Eugene Redmond, Editor of Drumvoices Revue. The latest issue of journal which by the way features some of my kwansabas (not one of Raji's 10 Nigerian poets), will be launched in 5 West Coast venues between April 20th and 23rd, 2006.
April, 1, 2006

TO: All Media, Poets, Dancers/Drummers/Musicians, English Departments, Schools, Cultural/Arts Centers, Churches, Writing Workshops, Spoken Word Artists, Literati

Contact: Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club/SIUE English Department 618 650-3991;
Fax: 650-3509; Email:

CSUS, Marcus Books (SF), Carol’s Books Host Signings:
Northern California Premieres of Drumvoices Revue #14
--April 20-23--Will Begin & End in the Sacramento Area

Northern California premieres of Drumvoices Revue #14—whose section on
“Art & Activism in Sacramento/Northern California” contains 30 poets/writers—will
occur at several locations in Sacramento and the San Francisco during
April 20-23, 2006. Subtitle of the 236-page journal is “A Confluence of Literary,
Cultural & Vision Arts.” The events continue the yearlong celebration of the
EBR Writers Club’s 20th birthday. The group, which co-publishes DR with the English Department of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, was founded in East St. Louis (IL) in 1986.

1. April 20: “Drumvoices: A Poetic-Bluesaic-Mosaic”--California State
University-Sacramento, Hinde Auditorium, University Center,1:30 p.m.
Featuring Eugene B. Redmond (DR Founding Editor/former CSUS English Professor),
Darlene Roy (DR Associate Editor) & Charlois Lumpkin (members EBR Writers Club
of East Saint Louis, Illinois), Mary Mackey (CSUS Poet/English Professor), Jose
Montoya and Dennis Schmitz (former Poets Laureate of Sacramento), Odessa Bethea & Marie Celestin (CSUS Alumni), Jumaane Cowan (CSUS Student), Olivia Castellano (Poet/CSUS English Professor Emeritus), Genoa Barrow (Senior Staff Writer, Sacramento Observer), Selwyn Jones (Master Drummer). Contact: 916.278.6586

2. April 21: Sacramento City College, 12:00 Noon. Featuring Redmond, Darlene Roy & Charlois Lumpkin (Soular Systems Ensemble), Danny Romero, Odessa Bethea, Marie Celestin. Contact: 916. 650.2901

3. April 21: Marcus Books, 1714 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, 6:00 P.M. Featuring Redmond, Opal Palmer Adisa, Reginald Lockett, Charles Curtis Blackwell, Darlene Roy & Charlois Lumpkin, Odessa Bethea, devorah major former Poet Laureate of SF), Lori Jean Robinson, Guy Johnson, Marie Celestin. Contact: 415. 346.4222

4. April 22: Carol’s Books, 300 Florin Road (Greenhaven Center), Sacramento, 2:00 P.M. Featuring Redmond, Darlene Roy & Charlois Lumpkin, Genoa Barrow, Odessa Bethea, Charles Curtis Blackwell, Marie Celestin, Reginald Lockett, Jose Montoya, Lori Jean Robinson, Otis Scott, Hortense Simmons. Contact: 916.428.5611

5. April 23: Studio 33, 711 “J” Street, Sacramento, 2:00-5:00 P.M. “DRUMVOICES (Artsy) Party with a Purpose”—w/Artists & Friends “Autographing by DR Contributors”
“East Saint Sacramento ‘Stroll’” via Oral, Visual & Gestural Memorabilia “Music, Food, Poetrees & Percussive Interludes” Contact: 916. 613.7401

In addition to “Literary Arts/Activism in Sacramento/N. Calif.” selected by Odessa Bethea), other major features in this year’s Drumvoices are “Kwansabas for Jayne Cortez,” “Interviews with Amiri Baraka and Magdalena Gomez,” “10 Nigerian Poets” (selected by Remi Raji), and “Narrative Exchanges Between SIUE & University of Ibadan, Nigeria.” Among EBR Writers Club trustees featured in this issue--which includes 115 authors--are Maya Angelou, Baraka, Raymond R. Patterson (1929-2001), and Quincy Troupe.

Drumvoices Revue is a collaborative publication of the English Department of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the Eugene B. Redmond Writers
Club of East St. Louis, Illinois (P.O. Box 6165) 62202. For more information or to order Drumvoices Revue ($10 per copy), send check or money order to P.O.
Box above or call EBRWC/SIUE English at 618 650-3991; Fax: 650-3509;

You may reproduce or blog this release if you like.
Nnorom Azuonye

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

If I Don’t Write A Great Poem Before I Die

If I don’t write a great poem before I die,
no wings of music to bear you home after earth
eater of mighty meat has eaten me, you will have
nothing to show off at your friends with,
nothing to prove you witnessed the exit of a poet.
Death that ordinary frightens poets to death.

If I don’t write a great poem before I die,
fetch a voice like silk rubbing against a black man’s hair,
to recite ‘A Kinder Cull’ by Griselda Scott,
let it console they who mourn me, they who will miss me,
that they may understand, life’s mill must do without
this grist…but only if I died old and happy.

If I don’t write a great poem before I die,
high-horse riders may gallop down here to sneer;
they will claim I ignored the heartache of storms,
say that I was numb to the pain of volcanoes,
they will show me tears in the eyes of a giant,
and share the fear in growls of a tropical thunder.

If I do write a great poem before I die,
release masquerades, pound drums, bring out flutes.
Let every voice recite its favourite line,
say it shows darkness cannot be the fruit of light
and when it mattered, jaws unlocked, I spoke out loud,
about fires, about flowers, about war and about peace.

©2006 Nnorom Azuonye

"If I Don't Write A Great Poem Before I Die" by Nnorom Azuonye, first published in The Poet's Letter Magazine, March 2006.