An endearing moment with EHIZOGIE IYEOMOAN winner of “BEST POET” category of THE VILLAGE THINKERS HONORARY POETRY AWARDS
-★- Congratulations Poet on your winning of this honorary poetry award. Can you whisper to us your name and brief educational background?
My names are Ehizogie Iyeomoan. I attended King’s College, Lagos and the University of Benin, Nigeria, where I obtained a B.Sc in Economics and Statistics.
-★- Did you ever dream of becoming a poet? And how far has the journey been with poetry?
It would be hard to say whether Ehizogie ever dreamt of becoming a poet. But my life is marshalled by dreams (in literary terms) anyway.
I still don’t know if I am a poet, but I write poems anyway. **laughs*** and that is the most important thing in my life. At least for now.
Well, poetry is an endless journey to me. Even at death, my bones would still write about its incarceration in a casket buried six-feet down the earth. The irony is that, each new day that breathes, is a new beginning for a journey that may never end. Even at my death. So, the journey is in endless circles and infinite cycles.
-★- Poet Ehizogie, what has been the inspiration in writing poetry?
Everything inspires me. The air I breathe, the water I drink, clean and unclean; the fire in the sun burning my head on a daily basis as I struggle to make ends meet. Societal issues- the love mixed in the clay of hate; the suspense infused in communal living, and the list is endless.
-★- Why not any other genre but poetry?
I think only this part (poetry) of me has been exposed to society. I write short stories and I am currently working on a novel. As an Economist, I write economic essays and socio-political articles as well. So, I just write anything that my heart wills should be written.
-★- Were you expecting to win any of this noble honorary award?
I don’t expect literary prizes for any of my works. But they (prizes) have been coming from different corners, lately. I think the praises should go to the personas in those lucky pieces, and not Ehizogie.
-★- How far has poetry transformed your life?
Poetry has taken me to places I never would have been. Places I only visited in my day and night dreams. I am a very funny dreamer
Hahahahahaha! I was in Senegal last month, for OSIWA writer’s residency; precisely on the Goree Island in Dakar. Fulani boy has also travelled to the Trieste palace, Italy. The Korean Embassy in Nigeria has also seen to it that it gets to Korea. Fulani boy has also been translated into some other major foreign languages.
-★- Does poetry in our parts of the world (Africa) get enough support?
I don’t think so. If it does and maybe I do not know, I stand to be corrected. But being an info-frenzaic fellow that I am, I can vouch say that it has not gotten enough support and is still not getting enough support. The major pain is that, this part of the world is where things hidden in books are only known and cared for, by the author and his/her friends.
-★- How best has social media boost your poetry writings?
Well the social media has done enough in linking readers and lovers of
the beaded-word from all parts of the world. But I think it also comes with a price- plagiarism. And that is why my works do not appear on
Facebook groups. It can only be seen on my Facebook wall. I also do not like to tag persons to my post for this same reason. My posts on
Facebook stays at most 48 hours, after which it is deleted by me.
-★- What have been some of the challenges so far as a poet?
Any poet and writer in general would love to tour the world and write his/her name on the globe’s map, but he/she is at most times limited by his resources, especially money. However, a time comes when the door would open, and this gives him/her the fortitude to steer further the healing course of the river- poetry.
-★- What comments can you make to those who have supported you to this far?
Thanks to Lucy Peprah Tawiah, my Ghanaian mother by electronic adoption. Without whom, I believe life would have left this mortal mass. Thanks to the publisher of my first poetry collection, Flames of the Forest, the Pedagogues Publishing Co., and Saintmoses Eromosele,
for his continued support. I cannot forget also, Breyten Breytenbach, Amanda Fortier, Akwe Amosu, Denja Abdullahi and Funmi Aluko- all from
the OSIWA poetry residency house, for their care more valuable that water in a desert. And to Uncle Odia Ofeimun, for his unforgiving
thoroughness on my manuscripts.
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