The Matriarch’s Verse
I am a mongrel; a mixed breed of Ga, Ewe, Akuapem, English, Middle-Eastern and American cultures; I am a Third Culture Kid.
Apiorkor’s socio-cultural experiences are interesting and might appear to be unique. But the truth is that there are several other Ghanaians who are secret sharers of her life. Such people lack access to platforms that would allow them to tell their collective story, so that their societies and communities can re-think all of the things that affect them.
Happily, Apiorkor is an artist over matter and over emotions. She possesses a mastery over words and over the essences of life. Many Ghanaian men, women and children are like her.
And her voice represents their voices.
In this sensational collection, The Matriarch seeks to celebrate, shock, tickle, challenge and highlight our Ghanaian-ness in the 21st Century. The author peppers our imagination with the following:
What does it mean to be Ghanaian?
How have we progressed?
Why do we stand for the things we stand for?
Who really is the modern Ghanaian woman?
Where is the global place for the urban Ghanaian space?
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Apiorkor [Seyiram Ashong-Abbey] is a Ghanaian-American Poet, Writer/Author, Literary Scholar & Critic, Media Practitioner, TED Speaker, Activist and Versatile Creative of Ga-Daŋme and Ewe ancestry.
She is the author of The Matriarch’s Verse (a collection of Poetry, available on booknook.store and Amazon, both in Paperback and Kindle editions) and When The Person Who Is Called COVID Came.
She is also the founder of “Team Apiorkor” - a group that runs on the tenets of Creative Entrepreneurship and Art Business, focusing on Creative Artist Development, Marketing & Communications, Creative Product Development, Creative Event Production and general consultancy for Artistic endeavours.
Her work is noted for its rare narrative, prosaic, journalistic nature, which is uncommon in Poetry - thus combining her two passions in Verse Journalism.
She has been commended for the sharp, vivid imagery of her pieces, which have been featured in many journals and academic theses. Her work has also won many awards.
Apiorkor reads her Poetry on stage and injects life into her poems with varied music forms, Contemporary Dance and alternative Art.
She has also been a speaker at Re:publica Berlin, the largest conference on Internet and Digital Society in Europe.
Additionally, she has been an active part of the Pa Gya! Literary Festival in Accra, as a moderator, Poetry Night Host and Workshop Facilitator.
She has been a conversationalist as well, at the Reykjavik Global Forum, having spoken about The Power of Poetry.
Again, Apiorkor was a Speaker/Performer for TEDWomen 2020 and is an active member of the TED Speaker community.
She was in Vancouver, for the 2023 TED Conference, as a TED Speaker Ambassador and to run a TED Discovery Session - a 90-minute experiential workshop titled “Everyone is Poetry”.
In October 2018, Apiorkor staged the maiden edition of her Poetry concert, dubbed “The Matriarch’s Verse” at the plush Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, Accra.
Almost five years down the line, it remains Ghana’s largest annual Poetry event, to be hosted by an individual artist, having featured over seventy supporting Creative Arts acts and having attracted an audience of almost ten thousand people.
Another project in progress is her research into and development of the ideology/ concept of Verse Journalism, which highlights the symbiotic relationship between Poetry (Verse) and Journalism/ Media - her two passions.
Over the past four years, Apiorkor has led a campaign to have Ghanaian (and African) Poets, Poetry, and Artists properly documented in local media sources and on Wikipedia.
The Wikimedia User Group in Ghana is making great strides in this regard.
Her love for Diplomacy has led her to become a Fellow and Moderator of the Institute of International Affairs, Ghana.
As well, she is an Editorial Advisor of the Influenc(Her) Project (https://influencherproject.org/), working alongside phenomenal women to elevate the global voices of women; especially in Journalism. Apiorkor teaches, mentors, and counsels Poets, Writers, Creatives, budding Media Practitioners and young people (especially young women).
In Media, Apiorkor advocates for the causes of Literacy & Numeracy, appreciation of the Creative Arts & Art business, as well as Culture.
As a general Media Practitioner, she is a broadcast presenter and a Multi-format/ Multi-scale Television Producer & Programmer, with over 10,000 hours of content, to her credit. She is also a Multi-format Radio Producer.
Additionally, she does Event design/ production/ management and is a compère & moderator.
She is a copywriter, voice over artist, and she designs and produces media advertising content. She also sits on many boards and advisory boards within Ghana and beyond.
Apiorkor is currently working on a Spoken Word EP, a play, a Poetry chapbook and a novel.