Author: Obiageli A. Iloakasia
Publisher: LIBRETTO Publishers
ABOUT THE BOOK
In “Kàmbílí,” humans, nations, and ideas are all affected by the realities of life. The poems, though thematically ordered combine to explore the experiential dynamics of social injustices, mental health, crime, desire, belonging, and heritage. We are confronted by the merits of existential questions such as ‘who are we?’, ‘what are we here for?’, and ‘why can we not be left alone?’ The poems in this collection are witnesses to everyone’s lived experiences, begging not to be silenced.
PRAISE FOR KÀMBÍLÍ
Obiageli Iloakasia writes beautifully; with a flair for enduring narratives. This collection draws upon the challenges experienced by women in facing the ordinary task of living in a society beset by cultural standards of female etiquette. Such themes as love, lust, fear, depression, abuse, and hope are explored with poetic finesse. Love attains its sublime beauty; yet retains its enigmatic character. Its painful consequences get reasonable mention even if it is the love of a kind that dies before it meets its lover. The poems stress upon the notion of survival—a broad canvas under which all the themes are embodied. The will to survive within what the poetess alludes to as a caged depressive female existence is a testament to the remarkable spirit of women not to be put down.
—Bassey Itam Asuquo
Poet and Co-founder, Calabar Literary Society
Author, Prettyface Mary and Other Poems
“…Obiageli has created a lexicon for contemporary lovers and people with inchoate but turbulent feelings”
Author, The Script of Bruises
The poems in this collection are suffused with determination, love and longing in the face of betrayal, abuse, and disappointment. These reflections, be they about home or lover or ambivalent city are mildly political, and strike unmissable spots. Sometimes, the briefest poem demands a re-read, burdening one with the greatest effect, and the heaviest meaning. In Kàmbílí, Obiageli Iloakasia wrings survival verses that we are familiar with, and much in need of, in today’s world.
Author, Coming Undone as Stitches Tighten
Obiageli is a miner of memory — this is evident in the way she unpacks boxes of memory, with profound contemplation through long nights of playful stargazing – intense and entrancing, sometimes light yet playful. From the way it nudges you into clarity, and explores symbols to magnify the reader’s existence, many qualities make Kàmbílí a succinct and powerful work. From the clever poetic elements employed to the delightful experimentation with language and form, Kàmbílí knocks on the door of your heart like an admirer… kindling you in a sensual, deep, and wild way. Its deliberate grammar interrogates as much as it entrances you, like a dream diary coming to fruition.
Poet and Researcher
Obiageli’s poetry carries you into a space, heavy with honest contemplations. Her lines are direct and come with ease and no bias. This collection carries the capacity to be a germane triumph.
Ace Performance Poet
Author, There is a Lunatic in Every Town
Kàmbílí is a warehouse of emotions. A harvest of soft memories—laughter, heartbreaks, and most importantly, hope.
In the quest to live, Obiageli sets out in this collection to explore life using love as a metaphor but affection in this collection is not viewed through a hypocritical glass, it’s seen in the visceral sensitivity. Here, we see a soul bare it all in its quest to be desired. Obiageli’s plucky short poems come together like the nut graph of our every day existence as it mirrors the terrors of things past, the horrors of fights present and pose a question as to what should lead as we unlearn all we ever knew of survival.
Author, Burying the Ghosts of Dead Narratives
Obiageli Iloakasia’s collection of poems, Kàmbílí, explores the redemptive and ruinous effects of love and lost love, which are existential contradictions that define human frailty. The poems, with their well crafted lines, underscore the poet’s yearnings for endearing love that is central to the survival of humanity.
—Stephen Kekeghe (PhD)
Author, Rumbling Sky (2020) Winner, ANA Prize for Poetry, 2021.
Kàmbílí, begs to exist, whether as a poem or a person walking through the love forlorn passages of Iloakasia’s collection — through the streets of violence, helplessness, hopelessness, dejection, loss, and lust. Obiageli Iloakasia is a rare breed, carving her own path, bearing witness to youth and a society in decay. She is a generation’s unofficial poet laureate. Listen to her.
Author, City dwellers