“A nation turning into a mortuary” as an “experiment in human suffering”. This is an example of how powerful Richard Otwao’s poetry is: using deceptively simple diction and imagery, he vividly captures the tragedy that African countries have suffered in different situations of war, dictatorship, deprivation, disease, and insult, to mention but a few. With delicate irony and humour, he shows us that not all is lost, for if we mediate upon our deeds and will ourselves into loving our fellow human beings a little more, we can salvage something from the mess we have put our countries, and ourselves, into.”
-Dr Danson Sylvester Kahyana, Senior Lecturer in Literature, Makerere University
“This is our country
If you seek the truth,
You are chasing wind.
The wounded are the culprits,
The aggressor is the victim.
The dead are peripatetic,
The living are the dead.
The press becomes the chief rumour mill,
They are the agitators.
The regime of the day,
Props up the opposition.
The passionately disgruntled opposition,
Promotes the regime in power.
The voters become autocratic,
They oppress their leaders.
Children violate their parents’ rights,
Women rape men in broad daylight.”
RICHARD OTWAO was born in Amuria in December 1971 and went to Angorom and Soroti Demonstrations schools for his primary education. He later joined Amuria SS in 1986 and when the insurgency that rocked the Eastern part of the country set in, he enrolled in Teso College Aloet to complete his secondary education. Preferring a teaching career, he enrolled in NTC Kaliro for his DSE (Dip in Secondary Education 1993-1995), Kyambogo University for BED (2001-2005) and later Masters of Arts (MA) in Literature in the same University. Richard has taught English Language and Literature in English since 1996 in various schools. He is currently teaching in Mt St Mary’s College Namagunga.
Format: Paperbakc & Kindle
Number Of Pages: 100
Publisher: Kitara Nation
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This book, the first anthology of its kind, encompasses poems collected from 3 different national High School poetry programs. It could perhaps be the only book of this kind in East Africa.
“On the whole, this book is a triumph for the author and The Poetry Series by KITARA NATION. The lexical arrangements uplift its rhythm with a triumph of apostrophic repetition that is typical of Kitara’s style (For the mood has changed/And the boys have changed/ And the girls have changed/ And the boss has changed). Each part of the book (which is accompanied by illustrations) is heightened to the echo chamber of history. Oh yes, these words will ring through time.”
– Phillip Matogo, poet, author, critic.
“Artistically, it is one of the most engaging anthologies I have read in a very long time. Each poem is special for the way it seems to roll off your tongue. The pattern of rhythm and sound of the words or prosody is enhanced, line on line, by enjambment as feelings spill while carrying the run of the poet’s thought from one line to the next without a syntactical break. The substance of these feelings are so powerful, even tragic.”
– Phillip Matogo, Poet, Author, Critic