This year, I have anticipated Ghanaian Literature Week more than any of the other previous times there have been. I have realized that slowly, and as opportunity brings itself, I have become an advocate (especially at Barcamps all over the country) for Ghanaian contemporary writing from people I know and who are good writers but are just not writing enough because of work, laziness or just plain disinterest. I want to see a lot more writing from Ghana and I hope that many young writers especially will wake up and join the revolving mill of the writing landscape we already have. It is not very pleasant that since Ama Ata Aidoo (first published African woman dramatist), Afua Sutherland, Kofi Anyidoho, Frank Kobina Parkes, Raphael Armattoe, Meshack Asare (more contemporary though born 1945), Kobina Sekyi, Kojo Gyinaye Kyei, Lade Wosornu, Michael Dei-Annang, W.E.B du Bois (Ghanaian for a few months before his death), Kofi Awoonor, Kwesi Brew and the host of former-generation writers, Ghana has not produced another bigger band of writers of our generation who are sweeping the headlines like these people did even though we have never been more schooled, more numerous and more laden with stories of our collective future than at any time in our life as a country. Five million Ghanaians at independence certainly did not have more visionary writers than twenty-five million Ghanaians fifty-six years later, did they? So it’s always a joy to celebrate Ghanaian writing and writers, hoping that through it all, the known and unknown new generation will come through.
As usual, Ghanaian Literature Week will be hosted at Kinna Reads and will be the 3rd in the series, scheduled for Monday, November 11th – Sunday, November 17th. I will be contributing poetry reviews here on this blog. The guidelines for participating are quoted from the announcement;
- ‘Read one or more works by a Ghanaian author or an author of Ghanaian descent
- Both fiction and non-fiction works are allowed
- All forms and genres of fiction are allowed. These include novels, novellas, short stories, children’s literature, poetry and drama. Literary fiction, faith-based works, romances, and, mysteries.
- The length or topic does not matter except that it must be connected to Ghana or touch on some aspect of Ghanaian life.
- The material must be published as a physical book, an ebook, in a newspaper, in a journal or published online.
- I encourage those with websites to please review the works that they read. Short or long reviews, it don’t matter. Just please do comment on what you read.
- Please link your reviews to the review database, which [Kinna Reads] will put up on the first day of the event
- Join us for a Twitter chat (the time will be announced later). We will use the hashtag #GhanaLit on twitter.
- And please have fun. It is the most important rule.’
This year, I planned to celebrate Kofi Awoonor’s works for Ghanaian Literature Week to mark his passing. But in going through my poetry collections, I decided to probably add a few by Kofi Anyidoho as well. Regardless, if anything changes and I find any beautiful poetry especially from the younger breed of Ghanaian writers, I will do well to add it for review, like I did for Agana Agana-Nsiire’s ‘A Bird in Me Heart’ the last Lit Week. I hope to discover new poets from the other posts Kinna will aggregate too.
Why don’t you join us? There will be events both online and probably offline too. Join the conversations and read a Ghanaian writer. If you’re Ghanaian or in any way connected to Ghana, why don’t you even start a blog about this beautiful country? Let the writing and reading of Ghanaian Literature begin.
*This article has been edited from an earlier version that advertised ‘Ghana Literature Week’ to ‘Ghanaian Literature Week.’