An Exclusive Interview with Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau

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Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau is a Nigerian food nutritionist from the uphill area of Oke Agbo in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun state. He was born in Ibadan. Adedayo started writing poetry in 2013. He has won several writing awards including the ‘What Can Words Do’ challenge in 2013, the Pulse Student Poetry Prize and the Tony Tokunbo Fernandez International Poetry Prize in 2014, the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (July) in 2015 and the Eriata Food Poetry Contest in 2016. In 2013, he compiled a collection of political poetry, Epistle of Lies, which featured a hundred poets. He write poetry, Non-fiction and documentary photography. Adedayo’s words have been published on Kalahari, Sankofa, WRR, African Writers, Praxis Magazine, Barren Magazine, Agbowo, Hellebore, Gaze Journal, Glass Poetry, and several other platforms. He lives in and writes from Ibadan.

We’re bluntly blindfolded of what we know about sharing and screeching knowledge to each other, most especially our decision and action towards what we anxiously love is what makes us who we are, and what give, and chant us euphoria. One can see that Adedayo’s has screeched and lucid his heart and thought by enlightening us his decision what made him choose reading and writing literature, pouring words in different forms and delight style. Adedayo’s has made a lot of sense from his book “For Boys Who Went”. Our pleasant moment of discussion started on Twitter 6th August, 2019. And am  delighted to welcome him into our interview section. You’re welcome Adedayo. I was your trip? Now to our questions for today.

LIBRETTO: Tell us about yourself. 

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: I am so honoured to be here, right now, answering these questions. I belong to a loving family of 5 children. Wonderful siblings. I studied Human Nutrition and Dietetics. I write poetry, Non-fiction and I do documentary photography. 

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau

LIBRETTO: How long have you been writing?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: I started writing in 2013 after meeting important people the preceding year. Getting to do anything also weather around the people you meet and the people that happen to you. Rasaq Malik was the first real poet I know. I followed his works on Facebook and Kukogho Samson helped me shape my grammar, helped me with structure and gave me my first platform. 

LIBRETTO: What is the process of writing your first book like for you? Was it hard or easy when you were writing a book? Did you give it a second thought or you just decided to see your first book published? How long did it take you to write the book? What inspired the title “For Boys Who Went” and why this title? 

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Before 2016, I have always imagined writing a book. I wanted to feel what writers felt when people talk about their books. It wasn’t easy to pull. I remember wanting to start the process in January but it took me 9 months and a heartbreak to finally sit down and write. The book, for boys who went, grossly explored “leaving.” I am very fascinated by the idea of breaking with a present for a future that is uncertain. Leaving, whether in terms of migration or death or emotional shift, can be a disaster. The book, however, didn’t capture my entire hurts as I wish it had. The book was written in a few nights, with wet pillows and a shattered self. That time was really hard although it barely the book barely show it.

For Boys Who Went By Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau

LIBRETTO: Can you give us your favourite excerpt from the book?

one morning

you left with promises etched

in the corners of your lips

at dusk we heard the honk

that was not yours anymore

and opened the gate

and your spirit floated to bed. 

-the thing that drowns us in ourselves 

LIBRETTO: Who are your favourite authors?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau:

I am always going back to DM Aderibigbe’s works. Chelsea Dingman’s poems. Nome Patrick’s details. Safia Elhillo’s effective use of Language. Saddiq Dzukogi’s interesting perspective of grief. I have a long list and each poet comes with their role and influence on my work.

LIBRETTO: What genre of books do you read?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: I read Poetry, of course. But I am a big fan of Sidney Sheldon. I am learning to cross carpet, gather perspectives from Creative Fiction.

LIBRETTO: Do you have published works or articles? Where can they be found? 

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Oh Yeah. I have poems on Agbowo, Barren Magazine (where I am currently a Contributing Editor for Poetry), Hellebore, Gaze Journal, Glass Poetry and a host of others.

LIBRETTO: Could you share with us one poem you’ve been most fascinated by? Tell us why and share favorite excerpt from it? And please tell us why this poem? And what prompt this poem?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Anorexia Nervosa (Published on Agbowo, Limit Issue)

The poem is a personal account of someone I know who had eating disorder, was obese and had everything winding down for her at that time. George Abraham heavily influenced the structures of the poem.

for god so loved me 

a. he gave me a brother that crashed in a sea 

b. he died for me but i still bleed his sins

c. sedative drugs no longer command my body to sleep

d. one day, the body will take flight

e. he prepared a place for me in my mind, a burning paradise

f. he gave me an alternate reality of stones, a little boy drowns in my dream but he does not carry the face of my brother 

g. my brother will come back to us 

h. he kept my tiny soul in a big body 

i. he planted a petal of thorns in a broken vase 

j. all the above…

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau on stage performing Poetry

LIBRETTO: In less than thirty seconds, what are your best wears?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Nike Sneakers. Jean. White Round Neck.

LIBRETTO: Do you think the Writing industry can grow better in few years time?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: The Industry is getting better. As we grow as writers, our readers will grow with us. They will recommend our writing to their children. We will not fade into the dark. Oh! It is important to state that I am working on an Anthology of Nigerian Poets and big names are coming into it.

LIBRETTO: Do you have a specific time for writing? 

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: No o! I can be very disorganized. But I set goals and smash them.

LIBRETTO: If you were to write a poem for a Writer/Author who would that be? And why?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Oh wow! This feels personal. I’d write a poem for a writer who is also my friend. Hauwa Shaffi Nuhu. Her heart is phenomenal. 

LIBRETTO: If peradventure all social media(s) decide to go on vacation till further notice, give us three things you will be doing?

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Documentary Photography. 

Writing.

Working at the Geriatric ward of a hospital. 

LIBRETTO: Drop your social media handles so your readers can get in touch with you anytime, and links where they can get copies of your book.

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: Twitter: @Adedayo_agarau, Facebook: Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau, IG: @wallsofibadan / @adedayoagarau

Link to get For Boys Who Went: Words Rhymes & Rhythm Publishers

LIBRETTO: In less than sixty seconds please decribe your handsomeness/identity to your readers.

Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: LOL! I am finding it hard to understand this but you guys should hook up to me on Twitter where the shit goes down!

LIBRETTO: Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau, thank you for your time. Blessings!

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