Wreaths for a Wayfarer: An Anthology in Honour of Pius Adesanmi is an assemblage of original some 200 poems written by 127 established and emerging African writers. While some of the poets celebrate Pius Adesanmi, who died in the doomed Ethiopian Airline flight on March 10, 2019, others philosophically reflect on existence, mortality, immortality and/or offer hope for the living. In this memorably textured collection, the poets—who knew (or did not know the poet)—exorcise the pains of loss through provocative poems that pour out their beating hearts with passion.
“This historic collection of poems by esteemed and budding writers from across the African continent and beyond seeks to confront the ephemerality of life with the permanence of art; it is a testament to the power of poetry to turn grief into art. As WH Auden would have said, these poems start the healing fountains in the deserts of the mourning heart.” —Harry Garuba, Professor and poet, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
“Richly evocative and engaging, this powerful collection of poems from the heart is a magnificent tribute that emblazons the essence of Pius Adesanmi—joy, love, laughter, wit, brilliance, erudition, nomadism, commitment—whose life was a long poem of peerless beauty; a melodious song of the breeze and birds of the savannah; an elegant dance to the rhythms of Africa; a resplendent sun that refuses to set..” —Obioma Nnaemeka, Chancellor’s Professor, Indiana University, Indianapolis, USA, and President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS).
“Wreaths for a Wayfarer is written in divinely eloquent verses—to drums, gongs, flutes and songs—by citizens of the world of words, in whose hearts the Wayfarer lives. It is an assemblage of kindred tongues creating and recreating a new future from an unrelieved past and denounced present—around the archetypal wayfarer. This collection . . . is a rare accomplishment. I doubt if this can be surpassed. I may have, but I cannot recall it, of a single volume thrust upon my hapless laps . . .with such a climate of paradoxes—a synthetic Mass of threnody, elegy, requiems and hope, rebirth and redemption around a single living-dead—Pius Adebola Adesanmi. Igi dagbara j’eno otin (A lone log that brews a pot of corn wine to intoxicating ferment…)” —Olu Obafemi, Professor of English and Dramatic Literature, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (FNAL), and recipient of the Nigeria National Order of Merit (NNOM).