Coming soon to Amazon.com, Michigan State University Press and African Books Collective - The celebration in verse of the life and works of Bate Besong, Cameroon's most influential and controversial poet, playwright and scholar. Published by Langaa RPCIG.
With Contributions from 27 poets from Cameroon and Africa and a forward by Ba'bila Mutia
The poems in this collection are a snapshot of the mood that prevailed following the death, on March 8, 2007, of Bate Besong, Cameroon’s most vocal and controversial Poet, Playwright and scholar. Bate Besong ushered in a new kind of nationalist “fighting” literature in Cameroon which is unapologetic in its defense of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority and scathing in its denunciation of postcolonial African dictators and their western collaborators. These poems defy Bate Besong’s death by affirming that his impact as a writer lives on.
“Moving and tellingly generous, these tributes attest to the value of Bate Besong as humanist, artist, and patriot; the ‘Inextinguishable Flame’ of his inspiration; the triumph of his life over the pain of his departure. Here is a resonant celebration not only of the brief but boisterously bright fire of one of our bravest writers, but also of the unbreakable chord of our common humanity. The refrains in these elegies are anthems of hope. The ink in their lines will for ever stay aglow.”
Niyi Osundare, Nigerian writer & former teacher of Bate Besong
“These poems put into perspective the essence of that Anglophone Cameroon literary icon, the fearless “Obasinjom warrior” with the bemused smile, who once upon a time, was called Bate Besong.”
Ba’bila Mutia, Cameroonian writer, Professor of Literature, ENS, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon.
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