Fast rising poet and short story writer, Covenanted Nonso is out Poet of The Week (#POTW).
Nonso is the first son of his parents, who has a healthy appetite for reading and writing. The only think the ace poet in the making loves more than poetry is beans which he east much as a 300level English Language and Literature student at the University of Benin.
Nonso, who calls himself ‘Shake Dagger’, is known for his crazy sense of humour, though he claims to be an introvert.
He resides in Benin where Sam De Poet caught up with him for this tete-a-tete…
When did you start writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem in the year 2012.
How would you characterize your poetry?
My poems were mostly comical; satirical, that is, except, of course, when I’m writing an Ode or a Eulogy or Love Poem.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration comes from a phobia I have. The fear of living an anonymous life causes me to pen.
Which poets and writers influenced you most? Would you say their style is visible in your poems?
I admire Shakespeare’s works. Chinualumogu Albert Achebe,Christopher Okigbo and Prof. Wole Soyinka and their works also influenced my writing at varied points in time. The truth is I don’t really dwell on a particular style for long. I write as the muse dictates.
Apart from poetry, what other passion do you indulge in?
I admire Prose writing. Short stories mostly (very short ones oh!)
You describe poetry as a means for enacting change in our society? Highlight reasons why you think this is so?
Poetry is a ministration. Every time a particular poem is read by an audience, there has to be a message, no matter how ‘shallow’ the poem turns out.
I strongly believe that if people are hearing and reading the right things, the tendency of their absorbing the wrong things decline. Thus, Poetry should not just serve for entertainment. There should be enlightenment, encouragement and education.
Define African poetry? Point out what makes it different from poems written elsewhere?
Africa is a unique continent; hence, her poetry takes a similar shape. African poetry transcends physical joining of words to a spiritual connectivity. There’s something in African Poetry that touches the soul. That alone, differentiates it from poetry ‘written elsewhere’.
Plagiarism is fast growing, especially on a social network like Facebook, what steps are you taking to minimize the risk of falling victim?
I have fallen prey to plagiarists time without number, the latest one being the case of a ‘fan’ copying my poems with the aim of ‘sharing’ them and yet omitting my name. However, Social media (Facebook especially) is a very potent means of sharing creativity.
I had earlier decided to stop using the platform but realized that to hoard something from ‘many’ because of the sins of ‘one’ would amount to a sin itself. So, I’ll maximize social media platforms as well as I can.
You recently created a new style of poetry, can you tell us a little about it?
Errmm… The new style of poetry which is yet without a name came to me in a flush of adrenaline. I’m still working on it. Due to the limitedness of words in this style of Poetry, it appears hard to develop it. But I hope to grow the art. Here’s my only poem on it:
Note how the word count increases by one after each line? Viola! The New Style of Poetry. *smile*
Talking about poetry, what would you say was your highlight of year 2014?
2014 wasn’t exactly rosy. I developed my writing skills, I had school work to deal with and then I wrote my highest number of shortstories this year. The highlight would be getting to meet more creative writers. Yeah.
Where do see yourself in poetry in the nearest future?
In the near future. Oh, I can’t wait. I see myself achieving the goal of presenting (i.e. Performing) poetry to a large audience; hosting writing competitions and workshops, doing spoken word poetry and writing a novel collection of literature.
Care to give a parting shot or two for individuals who are interested in writing poetry?
To all aspiring writers, you can’t please everyone. I tried and failed. Write all you can, when you can and make sure you’re not buried with your talents. Peace!
Facebook: Covenanted ChimNonso