It was a moment of jubilation as writers and literary enthusiasts from different parts of the country converged in Akwa, the Anambra State Capital, to hail, herald and welcome the arrival of Chinua Achebe Poetry/Essay Anthology —”Arrows of Words”
Edited by Izunna Okafor, the new vivacious anthology, which is a publication of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State), is an 85-paged book that contains 118 poems and essays gathered from writers from different countries of the world, written in honor of foremost Nigerian literary savant—late Prof. Chinua Achebe.
“We did this in 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the event. But in preparation for the 2019 edition of the event, we decided not to call for fresh submissions for a fresh anthology, but to collate the three previously published collections and publish them as a single anthology, still in honor of Achebe.“This was also in keeping of my word during an exclusive live interview with the Anambra Broadcasting Service (TV) on 15th November 2018, to herald the 2018 edition of the literary festival. And that was how we birthed this world class anthology entitled “Arrows of Words”. We also hope to replicate this every three years after we must have published up to three collections.”
“Achebe and his works are like forests with many animate, inanimate and metaphysical inhabitants. The end of it all is infinite. It is fulfilling that young writers in this most auspicious anthology entitled ‘Arrows of Words’ are extending the Achebean complex metaphor of the multiplicity of beings in their own words.”
“A laudable compendium of homage spun in honour of a legend. With this meritorious anthology, Achebe’s heroism is feted, and his mighty pen retained in the field of the literary arts.”
“Arrow of Words’ is shot to anthropologize that of the gods as written by Achebe, the oracle. That’s the only way to bring him closer without being overwhelmed by the splendour of our ancestors”.
“A body of writings and writers have trailed the departure of Chinua Achebe, the eagle on the Iroko of African Literature. Many have aped him, some come near, a lot fell apart. But the biggest joy is the emergence of these young writers who believe, venerate and toe the path of the sage without loosing their originality. Young writers in this anthology come across as genuine successors, not parodies of Chinua Achebe.”
“The best way to immortalize Chinua Achebe —arguably the most influential novelist that ever lived — is through the weapon of words, and the arrows of wisdom contained in this book are right on target, ensuring that the iconic storyteller can never die.”
“A wild passion to unleash the giants within runs through the arteries of this collection.”
“While he lived, Achebe, no doubt, attracted lots of feathers on his writing cap — nationally and internationally. But more than the accolades of peers and contemporaries, this anthology — Arrows of Words orchestrated by young writers from his home state in death, appears the icing on the cake. They resonate the height he soared on the iroko of literary iconography. The-hundred-plus plus collection is a timely announcement that it’s no longer morning on Achebe’s inevitable apotheosis.”
“A poignant and panoramic paean to the deceased but deathless master. The breadth and depth of contributions would have gladdened Achebe’s soul.”
by Izunna Okafor.