FIRE IN THE PARADISE (2016) – by Uzoechi Nwagbara



“In this debut collection of poems, Fire in Paradise, Uzoechi Nwagbara explores the human condition through the prism of the Niger Delta where oil exploitation has environmental, political, economic, cultural, and other implications. The poet sings the tale of a people who are marginalized and brutalized for their bounty of oil. At the same time he envisions hope in the people’s resistance. There is much experimentation in form and style as the passionate poet deploys irony, repetition, images of a wasteland, and other tropes to register his themes… Doubtless, this is an exciting and strong poetic outing and a welcome addition to contemporary African poetry.”

Tanure Ojaide, Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“Nwagbara’s collection is a political allegory of a nation in turmoil of self-realisation, self-acclaim and survival from the mitigating calamities that assail it. Fire in Paradise is reminiscent of the proto Miltonian title of Paradise Lost and the efforts of the people to regain their paradise. The poems toward the end of the collection show the tortuous efforts of the people at Paradise Regained…Revolutionary tropes as blood, death, stagnation dot the poems and Nwagbara excels in his picturesque imagery depicting an environment under destruction and a people hideously traumatised…The fire in the Delta paradise has not been extinguished but the poet shows that the future of its attainment is bright and promising. Thus the poems end with hope.”

Helen Chukwuma, PhD, Professor of English, Dept. of English and Modern Foreign Languages, Jackson State University, Jackson. Mississippi. USA.

“Uzoechi Nwagbara is a bold voice for the voiceless; a poet of Africa who uses his word-craft to expose the human injustices and capture the colourful passions of his country, Nigeria, and the luminous continent beyond.”

Wayne Visser, PhD, Director, Kaleidoscope Futures Founder
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Malthouse Press, Nigeria




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