The much-awaited anthology in memory of the late wordsmith, literary critic and scholar, Prof. Plus Adesanmi, is on course.
One of the editors of the book, Dr. Nduka Otiono, provided a sneak preview of the publication on a facebook post on Monday. “This is to assure our contributors that we have made considerable progress towards the publication of the much-anticipated anthology in honour of Pius Adesanmi,” he wrote in the post where he released the advance cover of the international edition being published by Daraja Press. “The African edition being published by Narrative Landscape Press is on course as well. Please bear with us as we finalize the publication process.”
Adesanmi died in a plane crash on March 10, 2019 at age 47. He was the Director of Institute for African Studies at Carlton University, Canada.
Otiono also released a few powerful endorsements on the blurb and the beautiful cover design by the inimitable Victor Ehikhamenor.
Some of the endorsements for Wreaths for a Wayfarer: An Anthology of Poems in Honour of Pius Adesanmi – (Short version) include:
“This historic collection of poems by esteemed and budding writers from across the African continent and beyond seeks to confront the ephemerality of life with the permanence of art; it is a testament to the power of poetry to turn grief into art. As WH Auden would have said, these poems start the healing fountains in the deserts of the mourning heart.”
—Harry Garuba, Professor and poet, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
“Pius Adesanmi was restless, waging intellectual war against the kind of ignorance that makes oppressed citizens worship their oppressors. Wreaths for a Wayfarer is both a poetic tribute, and a remarkable contribution, to that all-important war through beautiful poetry. It is the fight for the enlightenment of all minds that are trapped in caves so they can hear and join the selfless battle for freedom from fiefdoms.”
—Obiageli Ezekwesili, 2018 Nobel Prize for Peace nominee and former Vice President of World Bank (Africa Region).
“Fatality has produced its own face of fate in this magisterial anthology, yielding enormous faith in our friend, Pius, as words attack the great loss, lament the unexpected casualty, and expose the revelations of history. Verses speak to our expectations—the daydreaming, the anticipations, even the blessings of a temporary moment. . . A new world is imminent, a new world of rebirth and possibilities, a new world!”
—Toyin Falola, The Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin.
“Richly evocative and engaging, this powerful collection of poems from the heart is a magnificent tribute that emblazons the essence of Pius Adesanmi—joy, love, laughter, wit, brilliance, erudition, nomadism, commitment—whose life was a long poem of peerless beauty; a melodious song of the breeze and birds of the savannah; an elegant dance to the rhythms of Africa; a resplendent sun that refuses to set..”
—Obioma Nnaemeka, Chancellor’s Professor, Indiana University, Indianapolis, USA, and President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS).
“Wreaths for a Wayfarer is written in divinely eloquent verses—to drums, gongs, flutes and songs—by citizens of the world of words, in whose hearts the ‘wayfarer’ lives. It is an assemblage of kindred tongues creating and recreating a new future from an unrelieved past and a censured present. . .This collection . . . is a rare accomplishment. I doubt if this can be surpassed.”
—Olu Obafemi, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (FNAL), and recipient of the Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM).
“The wayfarers and exiles, so admirably represented by Pius Adesanmi and others in this anthology, prove a zealous identification with the native land, from far and near. They left but never forgot. . .This, indeed, is the gravamen of this anthology: that the death of one exemplar. . . has yielded a reason to intensify a resistant ethic to the devastation and dilapidation that have become sources of trauma and regrets across country and continent.”
—Odia Ofeimun, Poet and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).