So, there was a book-reading somewhere on the Mainland in Lagos yesterday, and it was Lit! Okay, not to sound hippie or anything, it was actually fun and refreshingly interesting. The three authors, co-authors, of the poetry and prose collection titled- A half-formed thing, Servio Gbadamosi (critically interesting personality), Ehi’Zogie Iyeomoan (eh, eye-catching-bad-ass poet), and Eye-Kay Nwaogu (amazing out-of-the-box thinker) read bits of their work that left us, the audience, quite enthralled. Deciding on which of the pieces I most enjoyed will be difficult, in fact.
Servio read two of his poems: one, a tribute ‘for Kofi Awoonor’ and the other, a creeping, gripping, chilling piece ‘I found this poem’. Ehi’Zogie read from his well of alluring poetry, a tribute to his late siblings ‘endless beginnings’ and a fancy mouth-watering letter to a lover titled ‘a letter to a secret crush’. Eye-Kay read ‘Anna’, a refreshingly different kind of writing, that left the readersguessing and second-guessing their instincts. Enough of my ramblings already, you can download the collection here.
I haven’t been at a book-reading in a very long time (2010, I think, was the last time) and yesterday’s got me looking forward to writing again! And yes, also, probably having my own published collection too! The event was littered with, though a few, curious and daunting minds with interesting questions to ask (Imagine one of the listeners asking Eye-Kay if he had ever been turned down by a girl he asked out?!). One of such questions, thought-provoking I would say, was directed to Servio; and it was about the role of the writer and reader in contextualizing and understanding the writers message. This stirred comments and diverse, yet quite similar, thoughts and arguments.
Servio was of the perspective that the role of the writer is to write, and that of the reader is to contextualise and understand as he deems it fit. Another interesting commenter suggested that once the writer had done his job, writing and releasing his thoughts and innermost burdens on paper, it was the duty of the reader to read and read and read over and over, until he was able to reach a conclusion on the writers possible line of thought. More than that, Ehi’Zogie added, readers are prone to have different connotations of the same piece of writing, and as such, it would be rather myopic and impossible to attempt to confine the mind of a reader to the insinuations of the writer, and that alone. The way I see it, if you read a literary piece and you don’t understand it, move on. I think that every piece of writing has got its own audience. But then, what do you think? I mean, do writers owe their readers any responsibility to be understood?
Moving on to other interesting things, I got to see my long-time writer-friend, published author of award-winning pieces, Su’eddie Vershima Agema for the first time yesterday! I couldn’t believe my eyes! And yes, I got some of his books as well—‘the bottom of another tale (a short-story collection), and ‘home equals holes: tales of an exile’ (a poetry collection) … both of which I am, reading at the moment, concurrently (don’t blame me! I am an eager reader sometimes). I made a couple more friends and took about a dozen and one pictures, and yes, again, the event was Lit!
So, how did your Sunday go?!
The Short Black Girl, 2016.