Today in #TheLagosReview

Felabration@FreedomPark – Come enjoy some oldies but goodies

Felabration@FreedomPark – Come enjoy some oldies but goodies as Gboyega Adelaja joins Jimi Solanke and Prince Eji Oyewole alongside the Agidigbo Band as they ring out Felabration 2019 in style on Sunday October 20th 2019.


Make it a date


What do authors do when they get together with the readers of their works? Find out at the Authors/Readers Convention at LABAF with the theme: LAGOS_2070: TRANSCENDENCE

Writers, architects, technologists, scientists, economists, futurists, artists, urbanists and very well anyone who can imagine a positive outcome for the city of Lagos converge to unravel the mystery together through a series of reminiscences, from the points of view of some of the key players imagined to have enabled the transformation through their own agency, or the efforts of others.

(Curated by Ayodele Arigbabu for the Design And Dream Art Enterprise)

Date: Thursday, Nov 7, 2019

Time: 6pm

Venue: Kongi’s Harvest Arts Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos

Don’t miss #Labaf2019

Marlon James, Susan Choi and 25 other finalists makep 2019 National Book Award.

The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2019 National Book Awards, and this year they are dominated by women, people of color, and disabled people.

The recognition of authors in these groups is part of a larger trend. Under the leadership of executive director Lisa Lucas, the National Book Foundation has spent the past few years focusing on amplifying voices who have gone unheard in the past, spotlighting books by authors from marginalized groups, and last year reviving a long-dormant category recognizing translated literature.

In 2019, the National Book Award finalists are overwhelmingly pointed in their focus on opening up the political boundaries of their respective genres. Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf, nominated for Fiction, brings Game of Thrones-style quest fantasy to the landscape of an African folktale. David Treuer’s The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, nominated for Nonfiction, tells the history of American Indians. In Poetry nominee Deaf Republic, by the hard-of-hearing poet Ilya Kaminsky, the citizens of an occupied country go deaf. Scholastique Mukasonga’s The Barefoot Woman, nominated for Translated Literature and translated by Jordan Stump, deals with the Rwandan genocide. Akwaeke Emezi’s YA novel Pet, nominated for Young People’s Literature, is about a trans girl teenager who lives in a world full of monsters, even though grown-ups assure her that all the monsters are dead.

In 2019, however, the finalists for Fiction are all from Big Five houses, and four of the five are from the biggest house of all, Penguin Random House. Additionally, while smaller presses made a good showing for themselves in other categories, in an unusual move, university presses have been entirely shut out of the Nonfiction category, where they traditionally flourish.

You can find the full list of the 2019 National Book Award finalists below. The winners will be announced on November 20.

Finalists for Fiction
Susan Choi, Trust Exercise. Henry Holt and Company / Macmillan Publishers

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Corina: Stories. One World / Penguin Random House

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Laila Lalami, The Other Americans. Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House

Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth. Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

Finalists for Nonfiction
Sarah M. Broom, The Yellow House. Grove Press / Grove Atlantic

Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays. The New Press

Carolyn Forché, What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance. Penguin Press / Penguin Random House

David Treuer, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Albert Woodfox with Leslie George, Solitary. Grove Press / Grove Atlantic

Finalists for Poetry
Jericho Brown, The Tradition. Copper Canyon Press

Toi Derricotte, ”I”: New and Selected Poems. University of Pittsburgh Press

Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic. Graywolf Press

Carmen Giménez Smith, Be Recorder. Graywolf Press

Arthur Sze, Sight Lines. Copper Canyon Press

Finalists for Translated Literature
Khaled Khalifa, Death Is Hard Work. Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price. Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers

László Krasznahorkai, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming. Translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet. New Directions

Scholastique Mukasonga, The Barefoot Woman. Translated from the French by Jordan Stump. Archipelago Books

Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police. Translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder. Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House

Pajtim Statovci, Crossing. Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston. Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House

Finalists for Young People’s Literature
Akwaeke Emezi, Pet. Make Me a World / Penguin Random House

Jason Reynolds, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Simon & Schuster

Randy Ribay, Patron Saints of Nothing. Kokila / Penguin Random House

Laura Ruby, Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Martin W. Sandler, 1919 The Year That Changed America. Bloomsbury Children’s Books / Bloomsbury Publishing


Koleka Putuma’s New Poem is an indictment on South Africa.

Every three hours, a woman is murdered in South Africa according to official statistics, with as many as 3000 having lost their lives in 2018 alone.

Putuma is no stranger to these shameful statistics or uncomfortable conversations.

Controversial Poems such as “No Easter Sunday for Queers”, “Coming Home” and “Suicide” are an indication of her resolve to address the unconventional.

And she does so without fear or favour.

Her newest poem, “Every Three Hours” is in line with her fearless approach to telling uncomfortable stories.

The poem speaks about the rate at which women are murdered in South Africa, the lack of autonomy, safe spaces, effective policing and failing justice system, all of which have little regard for the bodies and lives of South African women.

Published on the Johannesburg Review of Books, an excerpt of the poem reads as follows:

Every 3 hours, one of us does not make it]

this country hangs our dignity at half-mast.
waves our bodies as lessons to be learnt.
as moments that should teach us something.
as modules. tests. experiments.
my existence is not for your teaching
to dislocate my mother’s throat six feet under
and compensate her grief with scholarships and amended policies.

policies that have gathered dust before they have even been drafted.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Koleka Putuma is an award-winning poet, playwright and theatre director. Her bestselling debut collection of poems, Collective Amnesia (2017), has taken the South African literary scene by storm and is in its ninth print run.

It has also quickly been prescribed at South African universities, as well as at Gothenburg University in Sweden. It was recently awarded the 2018 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

It has been translated into Spanish and released in Madrid by Flores Rara. A German translation is forthcoming from Wunderhorn Publishing House later this year, and a Danish translation will be published by Rebel With a Cause in Denmark in 2020.

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