Friday, September 26, 2014

Tutorial 101: How to Digest Poetry.

First of all, a poem can mean anything, i actually depends on you, the reader. A poem holds a lot of meanings and it is open to interpretation, how you digest and understand a poem is up to you.
Fro example, a little poem from my book(Solitude):

"I am still haunted
by the ghosts
of all the words
that died in my throat."

To one person, this is a poem about supernatural forces, about possession and ghosts. To another person, this is a poem about all the things we don't say, the things we keep inside that end up hurting us or just bothering us. To some other person, it is an illogical poem, the person might think, uhh words are inanimate, they can't just die and lodge themselves in your throat.
We all have individual ways of interpreting poetry. My favourite thing to do when i read poetry is to imagine myself as the writer and feel what the writer felt while writing the poem, that way, i get to find true meanings behind the words of the poet. No one interpretation is correct, a poem could mean so many different things. Poets are vague like that, they like the mystery they create when writing. Most of the time, well all the time, poems are stories, they are conveying a message. You just need to find the story behind the poem. Put yourself in the poem, feel the feels lurking around the corners of the poem and just be the poem. Practicing like that will make it easier for you to easily understand the meanings behind poetry.
Mostly, with the rise of contemporary poetry, you can find meanings of them poems in the title. Another excerpt from my book, Solitude:

"For some people,
home is not a physical place
it is a heart
trapped in the body
of another soul.

-places/people we call Home"

The title of this poem says it all i think. "Places/People we call home", i shows that some of us find our idea of home when we are at a particular place and some of us are at home when we are with certain people. Poetry is beautiful in itself. It gives room for a kind of expression that says a lot about the writer. I mean, aren't all writers just writing about themselves in one way or another, or rather, reflecting themselves in their stories.
Personally, i like to read a poem and go, "oh wow, that is exactly how i feel" and i hope when people read my book, they will find poems which will make them go "oh wow, she is conveying my feelings".
This is not exactly a tutorial but a tutorial is such an attractive title...right? :D I hope you all enjoy poetry as much as i do.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tales From My Book Launch: SOLITUDE

Hey Guys so i have had a crazy week...I was all about Kaduna state planning a last minute book launch which my friend almost bet half his liver and one kidney would be an absolute flop but NOPE, perseverance and dedication rode this all the way.

When i went to Nigeria at the end of July, i had decided to travel to a little almost Hawaii-like west african country called The Gambia to spend sometime at the beach and hopefully write beautiful poetry while i was there BUT life had other plans for me. Ebola(an absolute nightmare) started clawing its way into more West African countries, flights got banned, boarders got closed and so i was stuck in Kaduna state for my entire 6 weeks summer vacation. At the end of my 5th week in Nigeria, i had given up on inspiration and i decided to publish what poems i had into my collection. I went about it immediately and before i could say Jack Sparrow, my book was Independently published and up on createspace, man 3 days after, bam, it was on amazon. I was so excited and i decided to get hard copies in Nigeria for my friends and family. I had already taken the book to printing when my friend asked me if i was going to have a book launch and i said no, there was no time and i had to be back in Istanbul in 1 week. He explained it would be a good publicity for me. I talked to one of my best friends called Yusra(amazing young woman really) and she pushed the whole thing forward. We got about finding a place, inviting people, a program of events and what not. Everyone complained it was last minute and it wouldnt work out but Yusra was relentless, even when my spirit was down and i was exhausted and tired of spending money, we still pushed on. Before we knew it, it was one day to the event which was held at Quarters House Hotel in Kaduna. After almost giving up because i was told i couldn't get any book printed till the following week and i couldn't get my ISBN number(which i still haven't gotten and i have already paid for at the National Library Kaduna), we still decided to push on regardless. For the life of me i still don't get how i wasn't throwing up with nerves and what not.

On 5th September, which was a Friday, i woke up expecting to be nervous but still, nothing. I was more excited actually. I got last minute preparations done and God sent my beautiful best friend and sister from another mother Amina, who helped me with last minute preparations and took charge. We got to the venue and as expected, AFRICAN TIME. We had invited the media and told everyone it starts at 4pm, my Uncle who was the chief launcher Alh. Rabiu Garba was already on site and there was almost noone. My dad got impatient and ordered the MC to go on with the event. Luckily people started showing up and everything went smoothly. My book was launched, there were speeches and my dad may/ may not have aired my dirty laundry out in public(a sure sign i shouldn't let him make a speech about me ever again :D ). My friends came, some from Abuja and my family. It was such a lovely event. Not so big, just as i planned.There were interviews which i handled very well and i still did not freak out. We had book sales and signings and i felt like a mini celebrity. This all only reenforced my will to write more. The poet in me was alive and singing. My beautiful mother could not stop smiling which is all i ever really wanted out of this life. To make her smile.

All in all, i would like to thank everyone that came and everyone that could not come but sent kind words. You can still order the book from amazon(which has much nicer print than the one printed in Nigeria :D), i have a link to my Createspace estore by the side menu, just look to the right of your screen and look to the last menu, there you go, or you can send me a dm on twitter and we will have the book sent to you within Kaduna/Abuja/Kano. Hopefully when i have settled back in Istanbul, i would be able to handle more book distribution cites and everyone will be able to have their hands on the book. Stay glued to this blog and my twitter.

To giving life to words: SOLITUDE.

Images from the book launch

With my lovely friend Nura:

About to give my speech:                                                                                                                           

Nigerian Edition of Solitude(send me a dm on twitter for your copies pls):                                            

Amazon/Createspace edition: 

You can order this online wherever you are as long as you have a debit/credit card and have it delivered to your desired address. (Je recommande ce/I recommend this :D)

Here is the link for both Createspace and Amazon:  

Signing copies of Solitude:

Thank you to everyone that came. I couldn't catch the program when it aired on AIT but i hope you all did :))

Sayonara xx.                                                                                                                                          

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