To be honest, I'd completely forgotten I'd requested this from Akashic Books and must give huge thanks to Johanna Ingalls over there for sending a copy to me. In early April, for the fourth consecutive year, Akashic Books will publish a box set of chapbooks of poetry written by African poets. These chapbooks will be written by authors will no full-sized collections in print. The series is edited by Kwame Dawes & Chris Abani.
This year's box set contains 11 chapbooks, one written by Dawes & Abani as an introduction, and ten chapbooks written by poets of African heritage--some live in Africa, some outside the continent, and some share time both in and out of Africa. 9 of the poets are women. The biographies are all extremely impressive--just no full-sized poetry collections among the ten poets.
My plan is to look at these chapbooks here at the EWN and do so one by one. Maybe spend a few days with each, reading and re-reading; reviewing the preface written by a more established poet and see if I can understand what they're saying and if my own reading of the work allows me to agree or find differences.
I'd be remiss in not noting how fantastic each of the 11 covers are, each done by Ficre Ghebreyesus, sadly deceased as of nearly 5 years ago--his work secured through his widow and family. Each one is stunning and I look forward to seeing how each may fit with the works inside the covers.