Our Poet of The Week (#POTW) is Iyeomoan, Emmanuel Ehizogie, a young, aspiring African writer and Performance Poet whose works have featured in many literary blogs/sites like Words Rhymes & Rhythm, Lyriversity, Write Paragraphs, and several others.
Iyeomoan was first runner-up in of Korea-Nigeria Poetry Festival; Winner of an online poetry challenge for the book, ‘What Can Words Do? He was also recently awarded the third-prize for the best submission for Speaking Pen International Concept’s (SPIC) anthology, We Cry For Peace.
Simply put, Iyeomoan is an emerging force, a concave mirror of new African poetry, so much that readers of his Afro-centric poems have tagged him “the-man-with-a-menstruating pen”.
WRR’s Sam De Poet caught up with Iyeaomoan for a quick chat. Here are excerpts from the interview:
We will like to know you, tell us your names Sir?
My names are Iyeomoan, Emmanuel Ehizogie
What prompted you to begin writing poetry?
I can’t categorically pin-point the exact incidence. I just started writing from age 8 after my brother’s demise. May his soul remain in me
What inspires your writing?
My writings are inspired by life experiences, historical findings in books, happenings in the society, and most especially from observing the beauty of nature. Smiles…
Do your poems have any predominant themes?
Yes, but that depends on the direction of my muse. For instance, if my muse is tilted to the Nigerian polity, themes like “suffering and smiling” in the midst of plenty is focalled on the apex of ‘hope’.
Why is poetry important to you? Do you get satisfaction from them?
Reply: Poetry is the fuel of dying spirit. It helps me express myself in such a way that others who may be frustrated in the ‘Nigerian dream’, catch the fire of hope. I read pieces of poetry just to feel at ease
Are there any specific poems or poets that have influenced your style as a poet?
Reply: Yes. Robert Frost‘s ‘The Road Not Taken’ struck me when I started writing. Then, my poems were philosophical. Odia Ofeimun‘s many poems also influence my style. But the works of Kenule Saro Wiwa, defined my love for Africa.
How much do you think life experiences influence our writing?
Incalculable. That’s is word cause I can’t measure it.
How much of yourself do you inject into your poems?
I inject a bit of myself in my poems.
Are there certain condition in which you write better?
I write better on the computer or through other mobile devices
What role do you think poems and poets should and can play in society?
The healing role. Saying it the way it is, with a little caution though. (Laughs!)
Most poets write in English. Now, what is your position about traditional poetry written in local dialects?
It depends on what the Poet-personae feels. I sometimes write in pidgin and a blend of the three major ethnic languages, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. This can be noticed in my poem ‘We are Afrikans’. Pidgin poems are sometimes difficult to craft, but it reaches a wider range of the Nigerian populace.
A word for young, aspiring poets?
Poetry is more than just expression. When you write, allow your muse dictate your flow. Poets are world inspirers. Write to right the wrongs of our fathers.
Keep penning for change, someday your works would speak.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.