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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.
Selected and edited by Awoonor’s friend and colleague Kofi Anyidoho, himself a prominent poet and academic in Ghana, The Promise of Hope contains much of Awoonor’s most recent unpublished poetry, along with many of his anthologized and classic poems. This engaging volume serves as a fitting contribution to the 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.