Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nigerian Writer Chris Abani on TED

Chris Abani, I'm beginning to think he's a genius--not opined lightly. Nigerian writer, poet, publisher (and occasional saxophone player?), currently living in the U.S., creator and editor of Black Goat the Akashic Books poetry imprint.

TED is? For those who don't know TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It was started in 1984 with the intent of bringing together people from those three arenas but since then its "scope has become ever broader. The annual conference in Monterey, California now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)." The TED site makes the best of these talks available for free on their website. I've known about TED for a while but only occasionally check their site.




Abani
gave a talk in February 2008 that was posted 22 July 2008. (Thanks to Abdel Shakur via Tayari Jones for hipping us all to this talk). TED must have really liked Abani because there are at least two talks up on their website!

• Here's Abani talking about African narratives from August 2007, ending with a poem from Yusef Komunyakaa.



• Here is Abani telling stories about our shared humanity from February 2008, ending with a poem by Lucille Clifton.



A little bit of why TED says you should listen to Chris Abani: "Chris Abani's first novel, published when he was 16, was Masters of the Board, a political thriller about a foiled Nigerian coup. The story was convincing enough that the Nigerian government threw him in jail for inciting a coincidentally timed real-life coup. Imprisoned and tortured twice more, he channeled the experience into searing poetry.



Endnote:
What is Black Goat? The poetry imprint is dedicated to "publishing well-crafted poetry and will focus on experimental or thematically challenging work. The series aims to create a proportional representation of female, African, and other non-American poets." (Abani is also a generous mentor/advisor to emerging artists.) Among the current Black Goat imprint publications are: Karen Harryman, Auto Mechanic's Daughter; Uche Nduka, eel on reef; Kwame Dawes, Gomer's Song; Gabriela Juaregui, Controlled Decay; and Khadijah Queen, Conduit.

(Interestingly, in his talk on humanity Abani notes that the voice of the goat sounds like that of a human being, and its eyes are that of a human child. I don't know if that has any relationship to the name of the imprint.)

• I've just finished reading Abani's novella, Becoming Abigail, (Akashic Books, 2006) and still am unsure what to think of it. I was riveted; pissed off; caught up in the beauty of his language; frustrated with his repetitions of the word "loam"; riveted again with visceral evocations of his language; with his ability to acknowledge the absolute messiness of life and allow you to simultaneously feel the profoundity, revulsion, despair, awe, and relief that messiness can compel; and again ultimately felt disquieted, and unmoored by the work. I read the last lines at least three times while walking. I had read the last pages walking outside because I couldn't be still, or out of the day (the trees, and the sun) while reading them. I wondered that I somehow came out of that work feeling a sense of hope of all things, alongside my frustration.

I want to read more Abani.

• If you'd prefer to watch Abani on the TED website here's the link for the humanity talk and for the African narratives talk.

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

At 8:08 PM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 10.17
prada handbags, red bottom shoes, michael kors outlet store, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet online, christian louboutin, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike free, replica watches, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton handbags, kate spade outlet online, michael kors handbags, ugg outlet, louis vuitton, tory burch outlet online, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, christian louboutin outlet, cheap ugg boots outlet, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, polo ralph lauren, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, gucci handbags, replica watches, longchamp outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp handbags, cheap ugg boots, oakley vault, burberry outlet online, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet online, ray ban outlet, nike outlet, chanel handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg australia

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors outlet online, air jordan, north face pas cher, mulberry uk, guess pas cher, nike air max, burberry pas cher, longchamp, nike roshe, coach outlet, coach outlet, hollister uk, nike air force, true religion outlet, michael kors canada, air max, scarpe hogan, ray ban uk, nike free pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, lululemon outlet online, michael kors uk, nike air max, true religion outlet, air max pas cher, louboutin, lacoste pas cher, ralph lauren uk, hermes pas cher, nike roshe run, abercrombie and fitch, kate spade outlet, longchamp pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, new balance pas cher, michael kors, coach purses, true religion, true religion jeans, hollister, converse pas cher, nike free, sac vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, north face, coach outlet store online, tn pas cher, timberland pas cher, oakley pas cher, ray ban pas cher

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike roshe, nike air huarache, baseball bats, p90x workout, ferragamo shoes, asics shoes, louboutin, vans outlet, herve leger, valentino shoes, nike air max, babyliss, new balance outlet, insanity workout, chi flat iron, nfl jerseys, ray ban, air max, abercrombie and fitch, giuseppe zanotti, hollister, mont blanc pens, oakley, converse, vans, longchamp, beats headphones, ralph lauren, north face jackets, reebok shoes, north face jackets, abercrombie, bottega veneta, jimmy choo shoes, iphone case, birkin bag, soccer jerseys, lululemon outlet, ghd, hollister clothing store, instyler ionic styler, converse shoes, nike trainers, celine handbags, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, gucci, timberland boots, mcm handbags, soccer shoes, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors handbags, ugg, moncler, montre femme, canada goose, sac louis vuitton, pandora uk, wedding dress, louis vuitton, swarovski uk, marc jacobs handbags, louis vuitton canada, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, moncler, links of london uk, canada goose pas cher, uggs canada, louis vuitton pas cher, moncler, moncler, michael kors outlet online, swarovski jewelry, juicy couture, moncler, hollister canada, supra shoes, louis vuitton uk, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, moncler, ugg boots, barbour jackets, doke gabbana outlet, pandora jewelry, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose, ugg soldes, canada goose, thomas sabo uk, karen millen, sac lancel, replica watches, ugg, juicy couture outlet, barbour, toms outlet, pandora jewelry
ninest123 10.17

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Minko Chen said...

hermes birkin bag
mbt shoes outlet
beats by dre
ed hardy clothing
longchamp outlet
ugg boots sale
nike air max uk
oakley outlet store
prada outlet online
coach outlet online
air jordan shoes for sale
fitflops sale
longchamp handbags
louis vuitton bags cheap
rolex uk
winter jackets
cyber monday deals
oakley sunglasses wholesale

 

Post a Comment

<< Home