In 2005 Chinua Achebe gave a 30 minute interview to a Philadelphia public radio program dedicated to poetry. He read some of his own work from his Collected Poems (including “A Dirge for Okigbo” in Ibo) as well as a poem of Negritude poet and politician Leon Damas.
I just listened to it. Pure pleasure.
The podcast of this encounter is among the cool stuff found on The African Poetry Review Blog website. Dreamed up and run by Mark Lilleleht, an African lit researcher based in Madison, WI, in the American Midwest, the blog features links to the writing of old war literary horses like Taban lo Liyong, but also live blogging of new poets and writers at the African Literature Association.
I found the site after I was forwarded its call for submissions for The Best African Poetry 2009 (Lillleht wants to model it after The Best American Poetry Series). Lilleleht is also behind The African Poetry Channel, a Youtube Channel, that acts as a halfway house for clips gathered from around the web — from sites like the South African Book SA and the Colombian Revista Prometeu.
Watch the Youtube channel (readings by Gabeba Baderoon, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Fundai Maboroke, Ingrid de Kok and George Murevesi), go check out the site or send in your submissions for the Best African Poetry 2009. You can also follow the site on Twitter.