the makings of you

I'm very proud of our latest "Special Series" over at One Ghana, One Voice. Throughout March we're featuring poems from Nii Ayikwei Parkes, a rapidly-rising Ghanaian poet who currently lives in the UK. His most recent poetry chapbook, Ballast: A Remix, was a 2010 finalist for the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets, and his first novel, Tail of the Bluebird, was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

His first full collection of poems, The Makings of You, was published in late-2010 by Peepal Tree Press, and it is certainly one of the finest books of poetry I've read so far in 2011 (and I suspect few will surpass it over the rest of the year). You don't need to take my word for it though, as all the poems we'll be featuring on OGOV will be from The Makings of You.

The first poem in the series is up, and can be read here. And here's his first author bio/Q+A. Once they are all posted, the whole series of poems and interviews will be available here.

I'm not sure which I'm more excited about: the poems or the interviews. Parkes is a sharp essayist, and a champion of Ghanaian poetry (in fact, the "Poems from Ghana" page on his old wordpress site was one of the only online sources of Ghanaian poems that existed pre-OGOV, and served as a source of inspiration), so I relish the opportunity to have a back-and-forth Q+A with him over the next month.

Keep an eye on OGOV this month - new content will be posted each Saturday!

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