At AdinkraLinks we have chosen to replace competition with interaction and promote mutual enrichment through supporting writing, exchanging and responding to what each participating poet writes. This process is what drives the Adinkra Anthology Series.
Launched in 2019, The ADINKRA Series, has allowed the concept of emergence to flourish in the writing and publishing of the works of 37 poets, in Funtunfunefu 'Synched' and Aya T'he Resilient'.
Currently, 31 poets engaged in this exchange are writing for the third volume of the series alongside the co-editors Dr Gameli Tordzro and Maysura Asher Farzia and the Series Illustrator Senanu Tordzro.. The volume is titled NKYINKYIM 'Turning and Twisting We Come Out Right'
In these 101 poems we have used the creative resource and the philosophical values embedded in the ‘Adinkra’ symbol ‘Funtunfunefu’ (which depicts conjoined crocodiles - ‘Denkyem’ in Akan, - that share a stomach, and yet fight over food), to focus attention on how we are constantly engaged in unnecessary fights over what we all commonly own and ought to share as a global community. The theme of Funtunfunefu directs us to the awareness that there is always more than enough in the world to go around everyone without a scuffle.
This international exchange is between eight writers who are originally from Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, England, Iran, Scotland and Nigeria, and now live in cities on three continents; in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Accra, Wellington and Gothenburg.
"These evocative poems stir the heart to act, to reflect, to love well and stay free against all odds. The collaborative spirit that moves this collection of interweaving voices can serve as a model for future creative and scholarly work across continents, borders, and experiences. Every page houses a lyrical display of hope, honesty, sanity, and vision that nourishes my own courage to work for an more just more vivid human future of our time"
David Gramling Professor of German Studies, University of Arizona USA
"The Adinkra Symbol Funtunfunefu represents two conjoined crocodiles fighting over food these creatures are destined to share. in this new collection Gameli Tordzro has assembled multiple poetic voices to respond to such folly - suggesting alternatives to our persistent failure to acknowledges human interdependency. The poems are dynamic, written in transit, bridging gaps between languages, cultures and generations, breathing in and breathing out. They recount struggles, linger over silences, capture flashes of anger, transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Together, these texts constitute an elegy to those values and qualities whose importance we underestimate at our peril: gratitude, kindness, curiosity, faith, friendship, hope...Here, throughout these 101 poems, is a reflection on difference and sameness, on laughter and sorrow, on our entanglement, synchronised lives"
Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Professor of French University of Liverpool. UK
".... When I first read the title of the book you are holding, I thought to myself “Right timing.” Aya – ‘The resilient’ could not come at a better time than when the world is in the middle of a pandemic. Everything is crumbling around us and yet here we are.
Reading Aya ‘The Resilient’ connects us to 29 exceptionally talented poets from all over the world that tell their story of resilience through 150 captivating poetry pieces. As you live through the pages you will be served an assortment of pieces each telling a unique story and yet merging on the human ability to bounce back from hardship. The most beautiful thing about poetry is in how it can shape shift to fit our different circumstances. Each time I read the poems in this book it felt like they had taken the form of what I needed to see, to hear and that for me is the most magical thing about art..."
The idea of poetic conversations allows for a unique interaction between two poets to embark on a co-creative journey that immerses them in deep exploration either as colleagues, collaborators or a mentor and mentee. It is a reflexive space that is safe for digging into subjects outside mainstream conversations and can be between friends, relatives or even strangers who have never met before, and may never physically meet in life. It is an alternative literary space for co-creating the ordinary into extraordinary experience.
The first volume Mazungumzo Ya Shairi (Bespoke Conversations in Kiswahili) is between Nancy Ndeke and Gameli Tordzro written after they met in Nairobi in September 2019. Volume two Ancestral Code written by Awimbangde Ayunne and Gameli Tordzro is the result of a mentorship request from Awimbangde to Gameli. Her request was to be mentored in creative writing. Ancestral Code which explores the concept of ancestral memory, connectedness and extraordinary human capabilities to remember beyond their current life experience and to preserve the present into the future they will not live to see. The volume is Gameli's certification of Awimbangde excellent performance as a mentee.
1. Mazungumzo Ya Shairi
2. Ancestral Code
This first volume of the series is an explorative poetic conversation on Gameli Tordzro’s concept of Treasured Opportunity, Mutual Enrichment and the phenomenon of Memories. The Ghanaian poet and storyteller Gameli Tordzro and his Kenyan friend poet and teacher Nancy Ndeke respond to each other’s poems delving deep into an explorative conversation that takes the reader on a complex journey of new perceptions. They explore real life experiences of treasured opportunities, enrichment and memory, in a concentrated and an in-depth conversation through a new poetic dialogue rarely carried out by conversationist poets.
"There is something wonderfully reassuring, almost comforting, about the pace and rhythm of this collection. It starts gently, tentatively, as the authors introduce themselves to one another and slowly become acquainted through exchanges of emails and a meeting in Kenya. But the mutual respect and synergies of work and thought build quickly, through conversations about the ways in which their paths have come to cross and moments of mutual enrichment."
Prof. Heaven Crawley
"... a remarkable anthology of poetic conversations between two kindred souls separated by continents, yet united in spirit. Gameli and Nancy’s co-creation offers a kaleidoscope of emotions and themes, and calls for a departure from hate and human disconnect. It treats life and loss, separation and belonging, crime and forgiveness, and of futures lost and new beginnings with the deepest of experience and compassion. But amidst all this, the overarching idea this book leaves you with relates to courage, strength and the power of memory and remembering. This book is bound to move you.Slow down, read it with care and you will be rewarded with new depths of insight into what we sense, and how we sense and co-create with others".
Prof. G. Harindranath
This unique compilation of heartfelt thoughts in conversations has several dedications that immediately open the reader’s senses into the depths that are laid bare in the journey of the conversations. The first dedication is to the “ancestors whose memories I carry whose legacies carry me” With this incredible philosophical statement, the writer acknowledges two facts at once. That the past is borne of the present and that what was lived is living in the lineage of the present. Everything is interwoven and intertwined in the memories and legacies. - NANCY NDEKE
The next call for poems will be live after the launch of the our third volume NKYINKYIM 'Turning and Twisting, We Come Out Right' Please return here regularly for updates in text, videos and photographs of our special events and the next call for poems. Just click on the button below to explore our Events.