One of the questions we asked guests coming to the Aké Arts and Books Festival in Abẹ́òkuta this November was whether they read reviews about their work. The responses were intriguing, from “No, never!” to “Well, only if it’s good” to “Oh, why not?” I’m paraphrasing. You’ll need to get your hands on the Aké Review 2015 to get a better idea!
In any case, my response to the question would not be published in the Review, since I’m one of its editors. If that were not the case, you’d have read something like “Well, why not, as long as it’s thorough — and thoroughly fawning, ha ha!” Or something.
Yesterday, I came across the first review of my recently released chapbook of poems which I’ve talked about here once before. It wasn’t fawning, but it was thorough. It was published in the Luxembourg Review which I was also discovering for the first time. At times I had to go check the collection itself again to be sure that the lines being referenced were indeed mine. It’s true what they say that when you’re writing, you’re often possessed by something more than yourself.
“One prominent quality of Kola’s poetry, as it is with Lola Shoneyin’s, Jumoke Verissimo’s and others, is that it is structured within a fluid framework which very effectively navigates the core of the sentiments of human consciousness. What ensues is a powerful inter-fusion of muse, thought and story.”
Now, you’ll have to go read the rest for yourself!