The book is an utaniki, a poetic travel journal comprised of haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai and various Japanese imagist sequences. It records a journey undertaken by the author and his family in a Volkswagen, c 1980, from northeastern Nigeria down to Lagos in the southwest and up the west coast of West Africa through Benin and Togo. With characteristic wit it exposes the neocolonial realities of so-called third world cultures: the ingenuity of their peoples, their wicked humour and resourcefulness. It’s a celebration of life in West Africa before the violence of Boko Haram and the abductions of young girls from Maiduguri, a city Richard Stevenson lived in for two years as a CIDA volunteer.
Poetry. African & African American Studies.
Richard Stevenson recently retired to Nanaimo from a thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing at Lethbridge College, Alberta. He has published thirty books and a CD of jazz and poetry. Forthcoming is a lyric/haikai children's collection, Action Dachshund! and he is currently involved in a collaborative Vancouver Island photo/haikai project with his daughter, Marika.