Return of The Guardian literary series

• Submission of articles begins
The 1980s was a momentous decade for Nigerian literature and one of the enabling factors for the literary effulgence of that era was the robustness of the critical enterprise woven around the literary productions.

The Guardian newspaper provided a significant platform for the critical engagement of writers, literary works and their raison d etre vis a vis literary trends which ended up evolving into a national literature. Through the famous, but now rested “The Guardian Literary Series”, the newspaper provided scholars and critics a formidable site for engaging Nigerian literature from different perspectives spanning from the oral tradition to contemporary writings.


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Call for Writers

Deadline: Monday 29 August (11.59pm in any time zone)

adda is Commonwealth Writers’ online gathering of stories, a place where writers and readers can talk to each other across global and geopolitical divides. Continue reading

Apply now: African Writer’s Residency Award (AWRA) 2016

Goethe-Institut & Sylt Foundation African Literary Writer’s Residency Award


We are very delighted to have a new partner for our award from this year on. Thanks so much to the Goethe-Institut for the collaboration!

The Sylt Foundation calls all writers of contemporary African literature to apply for the two months African Writer´s Award, offered as part of the Sylt Foundation Residency Programme.

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Reflecting on Nigeria’s Oil: a Critique of Niyi Osundare’s ‘Oily Blues’



What will Nigeria do when oil has passed

out of favour? What shall we hold as lasting

gains from many decades of oil wealth?

…very soon, the world will tell Nigeria to

drink its crude oil

            Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta after half a century exploration. The discovery was made by Shell-BP, at the time the soil concessionaire. Nigeria joined the ranks of oil producers in 1958 when its first oil field came on stream producing 5,100 Pd. The discovery, in due course, revolutionised the Nigerian economy. Today, Nigeria has risen to become Africa’s biggest oil producer. However, what the Nigerian government has done with the gains accrued from many decades of oil wealth is a question on the lips of the Nigerian masses. The oil boom, thanks to the insensitivity of the government, has become a curse, rather than a blessing, to the masses. The oil wealth is only concentrated in the hands of few cabals. Rather than enjoying the natural gift, the Nigerian masses have only been victims of oil spillage, gas flaring, and so on. Continue reading

A Review of Silent Whispers by Joe Osi


Author            Joe Osi

Title                Silent Whispers

Country          Nigeria

Language       English

Genre               Faction (Lantern Literary series)

Published       2015 by Lantern Books (a division of Literamed Publications (Nig.) Limited)

Pages              312

ISBN               978-100-653-1

Silent Whispers is a literary critique of unquestioned beliefs in superstition rampant in Africa, particularly Nigeria the setting of the novel. Superstitious beliefs are not restricted to Africa alone, they are found in almost every culture of the world. What however borders the author is how Africans over the time have refused to subject the validity of these beliefs to empirical investigation. “One should not ask questions about some of these things, for there are mysteries and wonders surrounding the earth…” (Silent Whispers, page 8), this is the commonly held opinion on superstition in Africa. Continue reading

Treading the Lonely Path: a Review of Omotayo Yusuf’s Hero


Omotayo Yusuf is my friend. The one I am proud of. Together we navigated the literary ocean at Obafemi Awolowo University. Omotayo is a storyteller with literary simplicity, the kind akin to that of the great African literary icon; Chinua Achebe. When he writes, the English language flows and slickly draws in his hand as the rainy-season okro would do in the hands of a great cook.

Today, he has many short stories to his credit—some have won him laurels; while some are still in his mail waiting edgily to be unleashed. The one that however caught my attention of recent is his winning entry in ZODML short story contest titled Hero. Continue reading

The Poet And His Patient: A Review Of Dami Ajayi’s Clinical Blues


Title: Clinical Blues
Author: Dami Ajayi
Publisher: WriteHouse
Year: 2014
Reviewer: Salawu Olajide


One can begin with notch of the two-word title that Dami Ajayi has chosen for this seminal gang of poems, ‘Clinical Blues’. The poet has prepared poetry as the lab where medical science and music are titrated and adulterated. But then, love and sex are also apparently inside the test tubes. Dami Ajayi has carefully made a remove of himself from mundane discourses of literature viz: politics, history, or culture. The unfailing uniqueness of Dami Ajayi in experimenting with issues of sex, love, alcohol, modernity gives one another new crave of other subsets of discourses that are obtainable within the discourses of poetry. The poet, just like the string of guitar, is constantly pulled to observe humanity from poetic lens applying music, sex, love, betrayal, modernism, internet as they are not infrequent in his poems. One cannot escape the heavy stench of maladies that are monstrously crippling the society though in this bond of classic write. Continue reading

Generational Curse: A Bloody Superstition? Penetrating Damilola Yakubu’s Ireti

Not all stories I have read made me feel this way; very few did: I felt I had the penetrative power which logged me into the authorial privacy of Damilola while reading through his new short story Ireti—featured in the Survival (17th issue) of Saraba Magazine.
Ireti is the story of a young woman (Durosinmi) who suffers the pains of miscarriage allegedly attributed to a generational curse placed upon her family (Orimogunje) by her great grand-father’s adopted wife. All of them—the female children—will suffer this misfortune four times and only those who could dare or survive to try the fifth will have the joy of remaking themselves.

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These Lines Must Survive by Nurudeen Lawal

A Review of ‘An Autobiography’, ‘Cut’, and ‘Death is not the end’ by Kelechi Nwaike, Tonye Willie-Pepple, and Adeyinka Elujoba respectively


“An Autobiography” by Nwaike is a poem of 15 stanzas with irregular lines. It is a poetic reflection by an orphaned young man. The poem flows smoothly from the ‘stuffy room’ of the poet persona in the north through the sky resisting the fearful faces of the witches flying ‘by at night’ to the South where he, and his brother, has come in their pursuit to keep riding on with life even after the demise of their parents. Aspiring to survive.

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