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Nigeria and the Poetry of Travails: The Niger Delta in the Poetry of Uche Umez

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Especially since the execution of the writer and Ogoni activist, Ken Saro–Wiwa, international attention has been drawn to the plight of the Niger Delta. Oil-rich but cynically plundered and exploited, the Niger Delta has become symbolic of the Nigerian nation itself, fabulously endowed yet, paradoxically, virtually a beggar nation. This accounts in part for the increasing fascination of a growing number of Nigerian poets, Deltans and non-Deltans alike, with the representative plight of the Niger Delta. In , the first published volume of the emergent Nigerian writer Uche Peter Umez, Nigeria's characteristic social ills are etched in memorable lines. But Umez's special focus is on the Niger Delta. Given his own position as a non-Deltan from a part of Igboland that has been the target of punitive cartography, this concern foregrounds the varied dimensions of Nigeria's oil politics.


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