We are overjoyed to announce the release of October Blues by Obiageli A. Iloakasia.
In this book, October Blues, a collection of poems, she delves into the heart of the EndSARS protests and examines other aspects of the Nigerian reality from the Civil War to modern sociopolitical events.
PRAISEObiageli Iloakasia’s October Blues is a lachrymal encapsulation of the tragedy of a failing nation trapped in the throes of mindless bloodletting and condemned to hopelessness by a clueless leadership.—Uzo Nwamara, poet, playwright, essayist and storyteller.
“The poems in this collection are hard claps of lightning that will spark in the memory of every Nigerian like thunderbolts. Obiageli’s October Blues are not far-fetched, we live in the walls of its reality”.
—Ifésinàchi Nwádikè, Author of How Morning Remembers the Night
Obiageli’s collection of poems evince the intrigues of a nation that’s trapped in its disillusions, atrocities, artificial wars and extreme political corruption. Unfolding over a single night, the violence that bloomed during the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, spins an unforgettable story of injustice, deaths, and panoply of caustic voices. The narratives that are rendered in this fine collection are very crucial in deploying a poetic way of capturing the realities of the people, per time.
—Francis Annagu, Author of “Our Land in the Beak of Vultures”.
Well thought out emotion-laden masterpiece, lamenting over anger/frustration and hope/dream which pervade human freedom.
—Nnaemeka Nwankwo Okere, Author of Blood at Noon.
In Obiageli’s poems, we could feel the poet’s emotion, and for a moment journey through her mind. What a beautiful weave of words.
—Ridwan Adelaja, Winner, 2017 Ken Egbas Poetry Prize
The poems in this collection are refreshing with carefully hand-picked words that truly capture the consciousness of being Nigerian. They kept reminding me about us; our joys and pains, blending nature as it went.
—Edidiong Etukudoh, Lawyer, Poet and Critic
In October Blues, Obiageli A. Iloakasia served dishes of bitter tales from troubled souls. The poems in this collection paints vivid mental picture of issues affecting the youths in particular and citizens generally. The poet explored themes of disaster caused by terrorism, herdsmen killings and communal clashes. I could hear faint echoes of hope in some poems. This collection is another proof of revolution of the pen among contemporary Nigerian poets.
—Awodiya Funke, Author of “The Farmer’s Daughter and Woman of a Woman”.
October Blues is a rumination of the ruination that has marked our nation with a bloody tone. Poems in this collection reveal different, dark colours of pain that taints a hurt citizen’s view of the country with abject desolation. –
—Aminu S Muhammad, Writer and Founder, The Arts-Muse Fair
Even as Aristotle in his The Poetics; attempts to make palpable distinctions between the poet and the historian, both roles have never been known to be mutually exclusive in the African oral tradition; they are played simultaneously by the griot. As I traversed the verses of Obiageli A. Iloakasia in October Blues, I am forced to journey back in time to those bucolic times when our ancestors forged versified lines on the anvil of history. In October Blues we find the poet as a chronicler presenting images of the horrid events of October 2020 in Nigeria. Without being bombastic, the poet succeeds in drawing tears from the eyes of the mason and businessman alike; the emotions running through the verses are just too strong! Her poems tell of the youthful dream and struggle for a better Nigeria; they tell of how the light of youth is rapidly snuffed out by men of darkness; they tell of how the wick of hope is burnt at both ends to become ashy disillusionment; they show the hypocrisy in the words we recite every day but neither respect nor follow. In a time when men are easily swayed into toeing the line of mendacity and have become adept at rewriting or distorting history, the verses in October Blues will surely hold up a faithful mirror before their masks of untruths.
—Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy, Literary Critic and Book Reviewer
Iloakasia’s October Blues is necessarily disturbing, a body of work brilliantly and compassionately woven together, devoid of artistic flamboyance. Her reflections are sobering, her lamentations piercing and her invocations resonate as deeply and profoundly as Easter hymns.
—Olisa Eloka, co-editor, The Question Marker
The book, October Blues is available in paperback for NGN 3,000