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New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano)

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This twelve-piece, limited-edition box set—an African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) project—features the work of eleven new African poets.

$34.95 $26.21

What people are saying…

“This annual anthology of emerging African poets edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani introduces new poets, each with a chapbook as part of the boxed set. The anthology, along with other projects of the African Poetry Book Fund, is credited with publishing the earliest work of rising African stars such as Warsan Shire, Safia Elhillo and Ladan Osman.”
The Root, Included in Best Black Books in 2018

New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano), the annual groundbreaking and necessary anthology of work by emerging African poets, is co-edited by Ghanian-Jamaican poet Kwame Dawes and Nigerian-British author Chris Abani. It is a wonderful way to discover important contemporary poets of the global African Diaspora.”
The Root

“[James’s] limited-edition chapbook was selected by Kwame Dawes, Chris Abani, and the African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set, and I am tickled pink for its release this month. James’ voice is so unique and genuine; she’s definitely a poet to have on your poetdar, and I’m sure this whole collection will be stellar.”
The Coil, on Daughter Tongue by Omotara James, Included in the Coil’s Most Anticipated April 2018 Books

“[This collection] continues the African Poetry Book Fund project to identify the best poetry by African poets working today and ensure their publication. This 12-piece, limited-edition box set features the work of 11 new poets.”
Publishers Weekly, Spring 2018 Announcements, Poetry

Tano is exquisitely composed and designed. This is a boxed set to be collected—and coveted.”
World Literature Today

“James’ voice is so unique and genuine; she’s definitely a poet to have on your poetdar.”
The Coil, including Omotara James’s Daughter Tongue in “Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”

“Rasaq Malik challenged himself and then us when he decided to see Boko Haram from the inside. He bravely bares witness for the many who cannot. No Home In This Land is knock-out poetry. A big, big price was paid for each of these poems.”
Today’s Book of Poetry, on No Home In This Land by Rasaq Malik

Critical praise for the previous African Poetry Box Sets:

“Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, authors of numerous collections of poetry and prose, have taken on the vital project of publishing short collections by contemporary poets from Africa, packaged together in beautiful boxed sets. This poem, from the third and most recent set, stands out for its clarity of observation and empathetic insight into the suffering of another.”
New York Times Magazine, on the featured poem How to Paint a Girl by Gbenga Adesina (from Painter of Water)

“An ambitious, vital project that delivers exactly what it promises . . . As a group, the chapbooks dispel stereotypes about African writing. They also illustrate what editors Dawes and Abani note about the many ways poets can understand or redefine their ties to Africa. These insights are poignant and valuable, especially at a time when millions around the globe find themselves somewhere between new countries and ancestral lands they’ve left behind.”
Washington Post

“A collection pulsing with fresh talent in a series that poetry lovers worldwide should be grateful for.”
Shelf Awareness

“Chris Abani and Dawes also edited Tatu, a collection of contemporary poetry by African poets due out in the spring, as part of their yearly New-Generation African Poets Series.”
The Root

“The chapbooks gathered here are almost overflowing with voice . . . . Each of these chapbooks is so worthy of praise and attention that it is not possible to do them justice in the space afforded this review. They deserve, and hopefully will receive, the specific and individual attention of critics and readers, and their authors deserve to enjoy long and noted careers.”
Untucked Magazine

“I’ve been spending time with Eight New-Generation African Poets, a chapbook set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. In particular, I recommend the selection of poems by Vuyelwa Maluleke, full of devastating pronouncements.”
Kenyon Review

“We live in a curated world; the beauty of this collection is not just in the interplay of cover art and text, of preface and poem, but especially in its overall optimistic effect. This isn’t a curatorial project solely focused on refining our world, cutting it down to manageable size, reflecting the literary interests of its editors. Though it does this, it simultaneously opens up a whole new emergent modern trajectory of African poetry, adding to it words that are surprising not in their existence—we know that with greater funding, similar projects, changing patterns of readership, more than eight, more than ten new African poetry chapbooks of this quality could reach us each year—but in their specific, trenchant voices. Start clearly off a set of shelves—this is something to make space for, year after year.”
Africa in Words


The limited-edition box set is an annual project started in 2014 to ensure the publication of up to a dozen chapbooks by African poets through Akashic Books. The series seeks to identify the best poetry written by African poets working today, and it is especially interested in featuring poets who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry.

The eleven poets included in this box set are: Leila Chatti, Saddiq Dzukogi, Amanda Holiday, Omotara James, Yalie Kamara, Rasaq Malik, Umniya Najaer, Kechi Nomu, Romeo Oriogun, Henk Rossouw, and Alexis Teyie.

Read a feature—including excerpts from each chapbook and from the introduction—at the Poetry Society of America.

Read a feature and three excerpted poems at Literary Hub.

Read a feature and interview with editors Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani at The Mantle.

Read reviews of Rasaq Malik’s chapbook No Home In This Land at Nigeria’s Daily Trust and Today’s Book of Poetry.

Read an interview with Yalie Kamara at Adroit Journal.

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Published: 4/3/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756238


Kwame Dawes is the Ghana-born, award-winning author of twenty-two books of poetry—including Sturge Town from Norton—and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He has won Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emmy, and was the 2019 awardee of the Windham-Campbell Prize in Poetry. He is series editor of the African Poetry Book Series—the latest of which is Kumi: New-Generation African Poets, A Chapbook Box Set. He currently teaches at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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Chris Abani, a Nigerian-born, award-winning poet and novelist, currently teaches at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is the recipient of a PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond Margins Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, and a Guggenheim Award. He is the editor of Lagos Noir and the coeditor of Kumi: New-Generation African Poets, A Chapbook Box Set.

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