Few books of poetry awaken our psyche on the struggles of the male folk as functional members of the society, ditto the sense of strength, responsibility and sacrifice conferred on the boy child. Read praises for BANSI IV Demigods.
READ 7 PRAISES FOR BANSI IV DEMIGODS
A sharp, brave and comprehensive chronicling of the variegated experiences of the male-folk, in a society that perceives being a male as synonymous to being a stone. The writers here know ‘so much’…. — Iwu, Jeff Poet, novelist and playwright, Author of ‘Verdict Of The Gods’.
Tukur Loba Ridwan
Few books of poetry awaken our psyche on the struggles of the male folk as functional members of the society, ditto the sense of strength, responsibility and sacrifice conferred on the boy child as he matures into a man, as a dependable member in the society. Demigods is an anthology that calls our attention to what we already see around us, but hardly tend to give the deserved credence, because we deem it simply normal. Let this anthology reorientate you, and remind you that no one is taken for granted in the society, irrespective of gender. — Tukur Loba Ridwan Award Winning Poet & Author, A Boy’s Tears on Earth’s Tongue & Anatomy of the Sun (w/Jide Badmus).
Kalu Siza Amah
To whoever has thought that boys are stones, we forgive you in this anthology. These poems of brotherhood, of boys and men, are likened to the voices we heard during the poetry of the Negro Spirituals; for self-worth, for freedom on bodies familiar with grief, “because a brother knows another brother’s story”. Such a beautiful pain, laced with hope, is this collection. Gracias to the team and contributors. — Kalu Siza Amah Humanities Mulukongo, Osiri University, Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.
Edidiong Bassey Etukudoh
“Demigods” what can I say? An oxymoron; dirges and eulogies woven into one so neatly that one can hardly tell the difference. This collection is both exhausting and exhilarating, as I gulped down hungrily each piece in the collection reality dawned on me,I mean the reality of finding strength even when it should be okay to be weak only because you are a man… — Edidiong Bassey Etukudoh Lawyer, teacher, poet and critic.
The writers in this amazing collection have broken free from the dark surface, within which many men have been forced to take habitation. They have succeeded in building a legacy of their own, whether by way of writing about an underappreciated father or an effeminate boy, or another boy elsewhere, burdened by the weight of the world, or yet another boy abused in school, or a celebratory anthem to fatherhood. But then, this is not to say that they have not simultaneously and satisfactorily engaged with tradition, for legacy is a complicated thing.
A boy is a horrible worker.
Like a gathering of horrible workers, the owners of these voices have themselves, been on tightrope journeys, or have known people who have been there and have emerged (very nearly) unscathed, and this is their ultimate testimony. The teenagers in this anthology are on fire, are seeking to rid themselves of the encumbrances of societal expectations, while the cracked hands of the fathers, as in the poetry of Robert Hayden, ached from labour in the weekday weather and made banked fires blaze, yet no one ever thanked them. No one ever paid attention to their lives of servitude. But these writers greatly do, and this anthology is a testament that speaks to that intense conviction.
But a father is not the villain here.
The Father is also the custodian of strength and virtue, he bottles his affection and tries to pass them on in due time, with a vengeance or with compassion (whatever method he chooses to adopt). This is true. They’re all true. All that these writers have tried to tell us about the male child is true. A boy equates a horrible worker. But what if the horrible worker collapses against the spikes perched by the wayside, overwhelmed by things unnameable, by things he’d rather not discuss or the world would rather not hear him say? What if this horrible worker dies with the fatigue of his travails? Other horrible workers would rise, they would continue from where the last man had fallen.
And so, the writers in this anthology are like ‘the other’ horrible workers, Building a triumphant legacy out of stories of the starved and the broken, the vulnerable and the faceless, the fragmented and the sacrificial. They have chosen to continue from where the others have stopped, gifting us a collection devoid of the dangers inherent in similar collections, namely: chauvinism, misogyny, patriarchy, toxic masculinity, even masochism. They have simply weaved in and out of the subject of gender, defying stereotypes and speaking surefooted truths that many would otherwise have sidestepped, and by so doing, have scored delicate point after point, in poem after poem, in essay after essay, in story after story, in sound literary offering after offering.
These horrible workers are not tired, and though they are not falling by the wayside just yet, more workers will still arrive. More stories will be told. More celebratory songs will be sung, even in the dark times, for these ones, as they appear, are mere harbingers of the Great Awakening, professing their faith in anthems to masculinity, all encompassed in such joy ride of an anthology!
Chisom Okafor’s poems have been nominated for the Gerald Kraak Prize, the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, the Frontier Award for New Poets, the Stephen A. Dibiase Poetry Prize, the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. He divides his time between the diet clinic of a military hospital, and its college of nursing, where he teaches courses on clinical nutrition and dietetics.
The boy-child has always been a symbol of responsibility, strength and sacrifice. And personally, I have always maintained the stand that Boys are not stones anthology series should primarily be about appraisal and tribute to the boy-child. The boy-child should not hold the aura of pity, but passion and authority. — Micheal Ace, Book & Digital Publisher.
The male gender shoulders a lot of responsibilities. Demigods reveals the superpower of fathers and male figures in the home. The collection is quite timely and a worthy celebration of manhood that will keep your eyes glued with beautiful metaphors from start to finish. — Utibe-Eno Ekpuk
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