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Rhythms of Dignity: Poems

Akwasi Aidoo

Rhythms of Dignity: Poems

“Akwasi Aidoo’s Rhythms of Dignity is a remarkable, bold first collection. There is a rich diversity in range of form, expressiveness, experience, and passion. Reading through this work is a journey through the undercurrents of experience that reflect on living through the charged realities of the ‘post-colonial’ decades of our modern African not only with an intimate Pan-African awareness of history but also with a poignant sensibility of brotherhood, sisterhood and belonging. Clearly evocative of the age the poet has lived through, these poems have both a sharp clear eye on history, and an abiding tender trust in human relationships.” – Abena P.A. Busia, professor of literature, poet, and Ghanaian ambassador to Brazil.

“Akwasi Aidoo weaves together in warm and passionate verses our timeless dreams of freedom, dignity and humanity which shall neither be deferred nor deterred regardless of what they say and what their SAPs (‘sanitize African passion’!) and Davos prescribe. Enjoy the dreams of ‘life and joy’ that is the Rhythms of Dignity. Akwasi is Africa’s foremost poet. Akwasi, you make us proud as Africans and as a part of humanity in what you sing and what you pen. May your Rhythms continue to inspire us and light the road to freedom.” – Issa Shivji, Emeritus Professor of Public Law & First Julius Nyerere Professor of Pan-African Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

“Expansive and personal, Aidoo’s writing carries us from intimate scenes in the doctor’s office to contemplation on the African continent’s fallen heroes. From Addis to Dakar then across the Atlantic, we travel with him through music, love, politics, the whole gamut of human relations. The poems read like a love letter and leave the reader with a strong dose of hope for the future.” – Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Hundred Wells of Salaga and The Deep Blue Between, etc.

“Akwasi Aidoo’s Rhythms of Dignity is that unusual of literary artefacts that combines large scale Pan-Africanist observations with the most minute attention to everyday details. There are poems here to read in quiet and reflection, some to rage to, and yet others to call out to our next door neighbor on a Sunday morning and say: ‘Hear this!’” – Ato Quayson, Professor of English, Stanford University, USA.

“In this collection of poems covering Africa, meditation and memory and everything in between, we hear Akwasi Aidoo’s voice mingled with the voices of our ancestors, our past and our future, calling to us to reflect as ‘life streaming hurriedly to us’. Woven within the lyricism of the words, the poems are a political and social commentary on life that evoke Langston Hughes and reminds us of the stories we tell and are told about us. Buy it, read it and be discomfited and comforted in turn.” – Ayisha Osori, Executive Director, OSIWA, and author of Love Does Not Win Elections.

“Akwasi Aidoo’s poems are ‘dances, dreams and struggles’ in verses that tread both light and heavy steps across memories, accidents and emotions twisting, swirling and twirling movements in different shapes, sizes and colour. These poems croon our histories, drum our prejudices, clap our hopes and mock in lilting tones our oppression”. – Tade Akin Aina, Executive Director, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research.

Author Details

Akwasi Aidoo is a Senior Fellow at Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom around the world. Prior to that, Akwasi was the founding Executive Director of TrustAfrica; head of the health and equity program of the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in West and Central Africa; head of the Ford Foundation's offices in Senegal and Nigeria, and Director of the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative for Africa. Akwasi currently serves on the Boards of several international organizations and foundations on the continent and around the world. In 2015, he received the Africa Philanthropy Award in Tanzania. Akwasi was educated in Ghana and the United States and received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1985. He has taught at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, and the United States. He writes poetry and fiction.

9782359261004 PB

9782359261011 E

216 x 140mm, 136pp, 2020

Price: $18.95 • £15.95 • €15.95 • CFA7500

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Last edited: 15 09 2020