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The Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems, 1964-2013
“Valuable for its vivid attempts to make new, locally rooted forms.”—Publishers Weekly
“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 Selected and edited by Kofi Anyidoho, himself a poet and academic in Ghana, the book contains much of Awoonor’s last unpublished poetry, along with many of his anthologized and classic poems.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.
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.
Professor Kofi Awoonor, one of Ghana’s most accomplished poets, had for almost half a century committed himself to teaching, politics and the literary arts. The one constant that guided and shaped his many occupations and roles in life was poetry. He was a stateman (Minister of State, Chairman of the Council of State) a diplomat (Ambassador to Brazil, Cuba, United Nations) and a professor of comparative literature at numerous universities in Ghana and the United States. He authored several volumes of poetry, including Night of My Blood; Ride Me Memory; The House By The Sea; The Latin American and Caribbean Notebook; and Until The Morning After.