For the distinguished Ghanaian poet, scholar and educator, Kofi Anyidoho, ‘poetry is no longer a textual art bound to the written/printed page. It is fully liberated from the distancing effect of print technology.’ His direct involvement with the production of poetry as ‘full drama’ began when the Ghana National Commission on Children, chaired by the well-known dramatist Efua Sutherland, invited me to plan and direct an appropriate literary- dramatic program for children from selected schools in Accra as part of a flag-raising ceremony at the O.A.U Monument in 1984 to mark O.A.U. Day in the Ghanaian capital. From then on, Anyidoho has gone on to produce and perfect a performance mode that is returning written African poetry to its dramatic oral roots.

Kofi Anyidoho has written and performed an impressive number of poems. In addition, he has published extensively on issues related to recent critical debate on African Literature. He teaches at the University of Ghana, Legon.

  • SeedTime: Selected Poems I

    In memory of all the Ancestral Voices who prepared the field for our SeedTime…

    SeedTime I brings together Selected Poems from Kofi Anyidoho’s first five collections, beginning in reverse order with poems from AncestralLogic & CaribbeanBlues (1993), A Harvest of Our Dreams (1984), EarthChild (1985), Elegy for the Revolution (1978), and BrainSurgery (1985). BrainSurgery, the earliest of these collections, was never published as a collection until it came out together with EarthChild (Woeli Publishing Services, 1985), even though several of the poems had appeared in various journals, magazines and anthologies.

    SeedTime: Selected Poems I is a backward glance to those magical years of birth waters flowing across a landscape filled at once with danger and hope, with dying and rebirth in the mystery and miracle of new beginnings so soon after countless brushfires. But the doubt returns again so close behind the hope as we offer trembling prayers in new poems from an old loom: See What They’ve Done To Our SunRise. Yet, somehow, we must open our minds and souls to the Forever Promise of New SeedTimes. This world cannot, must not crumble under our watch.

    “Quintessential Anyidoho…a harvest of the master craftman’s gems across time and space. SeedTime brings a refreshing newness to old songs, and, for new ones, a touch of creative genius we have come to associate with the poet’s pedigree; a timeless legacy of a poet-laureate, whose voice waxes even stronger in his twilight years.” − Mawuli Adjei, author, poet and literary scholar

    “A collection of haunting poems in which we SEE the turbulent variety of our history, and HEAR the English language teased to express the many rhythms of the African’s eternal homesickness.” − Prof. A. N. Mensah, Department of English, University of Ghana

  • The Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems, 1964-2013

    “Valuable for its vivid attempts to make new, locally rooted forms.”—Publishers Weekly

    “A celebration of the work of one of our important world poets for readers both inside and outside Africa.”—From the foreword by Kwame Dawes

    “We pay homage to Kofi Awoonor as a poet not only with a profound vision and articulation of the world, our world, but also with a gift of words that is at home in poetry, in prose, in critical literary studies, and equally in major essays about our African, our human condition.”—From the introduction by Kofi Anyidoho

    Kofi Awoonor, one of Ghana’s most accomplished poets, had for almost half a century committed himself to teaching, political engagement, and the literary arts. The one constant that guided and shaped his many occupations and roles in life was poetry. The Promise of Hope is a beautifully edited collection of some of Awoonor’s most arresting work spanning almost fifty years.

    A beautifully edited collection of poems spanning almost 50 years (1964-2013) of the author’s poetry, the Promise of Hope includes some of Kofi Awoonor’s arresting work.  Selected and edited by Kofi Anyidoho, himself a poet and academic in Ghana, the book contains much of Awoonor’s last unpublished poetry, along with many of his anthologized and classic poems.  The Promise of Hope was in its final stages in 2013 when at the time of the author’s tragic passing in Nairobi’s West Gate Mall terrorist attack. Published posthumously the following year, this engaging volume serves as a fitting contribution to the University of Nebraska Press’ inaugural cohort of books in the African Poetry Book Series.

  • A Harvest of Our Dreams: With Elegy for the Revolution

    First published in 1984, this is a collection of poems by the award-winning poet and Professor of English Literature.

  • The Phone Call (Hardcover)

    Age Range: 7 – 12 years

    God is perhaps just a phone call away! Before the invention of the telephone, talking to people in faraway places was difficult. Now, we can talk to our friends and family from wherever we are. What would you do if you received a phone call from God? That’s the situation the child in this story finds her/himself in one day. The idea of God being just a phone call away is what makes this story so exciting.

    Kofi Anyidoho uses the magic of the telephone to give us a story about a child’s curious but lively chatter with God. And the beautiful illustrations by Sela Adjei help to make the story delightful and unforgettable. This book is perhaps most suitable for 7-9 year-olds, but older children and even teenagers and adults will also enjoy reading it because the story reminds us of unanswered questions of our childhood some of which remain with us for the rest of our life. Anyidoho himself once reminded us that “There is a Child in Every Adult and an Adult in Every Child”. With The Phone Call, Kofi Anyidoho, the well-known poet and author of Akpokplo (a play for children written in Ewe and in English), has made a significant contribution to literature for children in Ghana and Africa.

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