I run away from a General Science class in SogakofeSenior High School. I found myself admitted into a program where the subjects scared me: physics was a monster and elective mathematics was a viper, chemistry was manageable and biology was good (of course, it is a reading subject). In my infant wisdom, I left to a literature class (against the rules of the school). I was found several times and returned to the science class but the more I was found, the more I was motivated to run back to the arts class. In the end I became a General Art student (after proving to be a better arts embryo). In the art class, prose was my friend, drama was my playmate but poetry became a dreaded obstacle to overcome. So I gave it more attention than all other genres, then the epiphany came: I discovered more beauty in poetry than any other genre. Before then, I wrote poems in my mother tongue, Ewe, so I translated them into English, following the styles I encountered in the poems I studied. My teachers read them and … that is how I became a “writer”.
I apologize for my delay in continuing the conversation. I should have posted this on Monday, May 5, 2014. I am in a self-imposed exile which comes to all of us in one way or the other and I am writing exams at the moment so I need to battle with time these days.
The main motive of the blog tour is to share writers’ experiences through their response to four questions. Each writer who shares their thoughts tasks three other writers to continue the dialogue so as to continue an unbreakable chain. My good brother-in-song Fiifi Abaidoo handed over the baton to me, and I am delighted to be part of this series. In what follows, I answer the four questions.
What am I working on?
I am working on so many things: myself, my thesis, my poems, my single-hood, my madness, my anger, my ... I am working on my old poems, trying to take out the "juvenility" in them. I have put a collection together as a manuscript and I am hopeful to publish it as soon as the cedi decides to stop falling like rain. I am also working on some academic papers, one of which was publish last week in a US journal. Again I am working on a deeper understanding of cultural aesthetics especially in traditional art; and my grandmother (a songster herself) is leading me in that esoteric sojourn. I am also working on getting more TRUE friends, especially writers (since the more you interact with a writer, the better you become in your own art). In the end, I aim at becoming a deep writer and scholar with philosophical and academic output in almost all genres in the arts.
How does my work differ from others in genre?
I have not read many writers inasmuch as I wish I could so I cannot tell how different my work is from others. However, I try as much as possible to be myself with a quintessential voice. I try to put my emotions into my works so that even if it is not performed, the necessary effects can manifest. My traditional Ewe background has a lot of impact on my work but that does not make me comparable to the great Ewe writers of glory (Akpalu, Amarttoe, Awoonor, Anyidoho, Azasu, Wosornu, Mawugbe, Adzei, Deh, Akpabli among others). In a nutshell, I try to be pedantic with my muse and since all writers have different gods-of-song, I think my work will be different too. The themes in my work are however linked to all humanistic woes and histories.
Why do I write what I write?
Writing is my own response to awakening consciousness. Most of my works are products of anger and madness at a system, person, philosophy, institution. Simply put, I write when I am angry and mad. After writing, the anger and madness reduces and I become sane again. Writing then is a therapeutic method for me. I kill my enemies in my writing so that I don’t physically manifest my anger. My anger is usually instigated by news, speeches, books, history (of all humanity) and individual behavior. I hope to correct thoughts and systems. I hope to re-create humanity. I hope to make people think. I hope to make people cry and become happy that they did. I hope to entertain too (if and when I can). I hope to bring out the beauty hidden in arts and philosophies.
How does my writing process work?
A thought becomes a metaphor, then a word, then a phrase and then a sentence… coupled with symbols, aphorisms and anything at all. The thought is like a seizure and until I pour the thought out, I become enslaved in the inner self and uncomfortable. Sometimes, the thought becomes a traditional song which I keep singing until it gets written. After writing, I leave the work to rest, then I come back to bath, comb and give it a make-up until it takes the shape of an angry beautiful monster. I take a deep sigh. I rest my head (and sometimes, my heart.)
Now that my work is done, I implore the artistic spirit of the following friends and partners-in-song, to go into the divining room and continue the dialogue:
|Edzordzi Agbozo with Nana Asaase|
Nana Asaase (Philip Boakye Dua Oyinka) is a poet, writer and literary coach. His twitter handle is: @AsaaseNana
|Edzordzi Agbozo with Offeibea Awuku|
Offeibea Awuku, a poet and writer. Her facebook link is: http://facebook.com/nana.o.awuku
|Edzordzi Agbozo with Chief Moomen|
Chief Moomen is a poet, writer, tv producer, radio show host. His twitter handle is @ChiefMoomen