TITLE: I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS
AUTHOR: TOLU AKINYEMI
NUMBER OF PAGES: 124
PUBLISHER: STRANGE IDEAS UK (1st ed.)
PUBLICATION DATE: April 25, 2015
REVIEWER: SHOOLA OYINDAMOLA
TOLU AKINYEMI has good sense of humor in an admirable way.
Normally when I open books, I flip past the preface, about the author, acknowledgment and go straight to the page of the first work. But it was different with I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS. The author wrote in a tempting, witty, creative, original, and attractive way that I had to read the whole book, word for word and cover to cover, willingly.
His words are simple, familiar, and way too interesting. I usually don’t entertain ‘unserious’ things but this book trapped my attention for about an hour without a break.
An interesting thing about the book is that it is a small handy. I admire this unusual size and portability.
I can boldly say I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS has helped me to grow as a writer. When I learnt about poetry and wrote my first collection, it was traditional. I wrote it confined by formality and rules. But my contact with this book freed my mind and perspective of what is considered as good and proper poetry.
I also realized that my aim as a writer is not necessarily to be poetic but to pass the information I have to the reader effectively and in ways that they may understand. In other words, he dissolved my idea of thinking that difficult poetry was good poetry.
Note that there is an unwritten caution Tolu did not mention about his books; “Don’t read it in public spaces.” I’ll tell you why. When I first read I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS, I was on the bus in the morning and I attracted attention because I was smiling sheepishly, attempting to contain my laughter. My best poem is the one about farting in public spaces.
Tolu Akinyemi is no doubt a story teller. In this book, he sampled stories about things that only Nigerians would, and it was easy for me to relate with. The poems are easy to read. I consider them as unserious, simple, and didactic poetry.
I strongly recommend it to young and new poets especially. It is a book for all audiences, including those “who hate poetry,” as written on the front cover of this book.
SHOOLA OYINDAMOLA was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a published poet, a feminist, a mentor, a blogger and Co-founder and Resource manager of Sprinng Literary Movement. She loves to writes poems, essays and her non-classifiable opinions. She uses her writing skills with her feminist drive to discuss the gender injustices that need to be fixed. She published her first collection of poems titled “Heartbeat” in New York, USA at the age of 16.