Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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eel on reef


A truly exciting American debut from a Nigerian writer on Chris Abani’s new poetry imprint, Black Goat, with an introduction by Kwame Dawes.

$15.95 $11.96


Black Goat is an independent poetry imprint of Akashic Books created and curated by award-winning Nigerian author Chris Abani (author of Becoming Abigail and Song for Night). Black Goat is committed to publishing well-crafted poetry with a focus on experimental or thematically challenging work. The series aims to create a proportional representation of female poets and non-American poets, particularly poets from Africa.

In eel on reef, award-winning writer Uche Nduka challenges every expectation of an African poet. His unique voice is a heady amalgam of Christopher Okigbo, A.R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Kamau Brathwaite, and something only Uche can bring. In reading Nduka’s poetry, the reader is encouraged to enjoy each instant, each image, while resisting the instinct to construct linear meaning in the poems.

Even though Nduka is acutely aware of his landscape and the politics of his world as an African poet, he knows that while writing out of—and sometimes against—a tradition that seems bent on didacticism, he is also unable to ignore the rituals of lament and protest that one associates with that tradition.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Published: 9/1/07
  • IBSN: 9781933354378


UCHE NDUKA was born and raised in Nigeria. Poet, percussionist, essayist, and lecturer, he presently lives and works in Bremen, Germany. His published books include eel on reef, Flower Child, Second Act, The Bremen Poems, Chiaroscuro (winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize of 1997), If Only the Night, and Heart’s Field. His first prose book, Belltime Letters, was published in 2000.

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