“James Eze, former literary editor of the Sunday Sun (Nigeria), former banker, well-known organiser of literary events and current chief press secretary to the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has published a much-anticipated, long-awaited collection of poetry titled ‘dispossessed.’ Eze’s poetry has been published previously in several anthologies including Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria; Dreams at Dawn, Crossroads and Mindfire, but Dispossessed is his first book of poems, providing the public an opportunity to engage him more intimately at the levels of thought, style and craft.”

Reuben Abati/THISDAY

James Eze’s debut collection of poems, Dispossessed, has continued to grab attention for its literary merit and its attempt to annex new frontiers for poetry.

It has been reviewed in The Cable, as well as by Mike Jimoh in The Sun newspaper. Canada-based academic and former Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Nduka Otiono, reviewed the debut collection for The Guardian HERE

Worthy of particular mention is a poem, Rainbow, which has been set to song. An accompanying video was posted on YouTube. Performed by the poet, the video features the singer Diva Steels and is refreshingly different from the all-too-familiar performance poetry video format. Take a look.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos recently, Eze said he was seeking new audiences for poetry. “I want to take poetry to people who are constrained by the ritual of seriousness and rigour often associated with poetry and win them over for the genre. Poetry has been so rarefied that many people assume that only poets, scholars, nerds and rebellious spirits can access the art on a level that can lead to enjoyment and then fulfillment. They associate poetry with extreme seriousness and saddle it with so much weight that a lot of people consider scary. But stripped to bare bones, poetry is an art that dramatizes our every day life. It is in our laughter, our tears and the seemingly senseless babble of a child. In turning ‘Rainbow’ into a song, I’m simply telling the audience, this is the true colour of poetry.”

According to him, the interest generated by Rainbow on YouTube has fired his zeal to do more and to look at new platforms for poetry with a fresh set of eyes.

Dispossessed was publicly presented to the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, on December 14th, 2019, at a ceremony in Awka.

James Eze is presently the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Dispossessed is available at local bookstores across the country, as well as on international vendor sites.

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