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An interview with poet Adeeko Ibukun
December 17 , 2014
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I got to know Adeeko Ibukun in 2012 after he took 2nd Prize in the Sentinel All-Africa Poetry Competition. And since then I’ve stalked him. Part of stalking him means looking out for new poems he shares on social media. Adeeko Ibukun writes like some of my favorite writers. He shares, I think, almost same rhythm and flow with Charles Wright, but not same message, I guess. That’s talking about a lot of his poems I’ve read. I’m a fan. He recently spared me some few minutes to chat with him, and here’s the result of that chat. Below the chat, there’s a link to three of his new poems.

When did you start writing?

I believe the question here is when I started creative writing. I was growing up in a big nexus of stories, my story. I cannot believe it was my life. I was forced to do a number of essays then (I know nobody will see them). These stories wanted to be expressed. It was like I was infested by them, although I was, first, infested by the great British poets I discovered early in my father’s collections. Writing began the moment I knew my stories love me like my shadow that they hang on, even to private places, and will not go away until they are heard. 

Why writing?

Time is a gift. But the projection of time may mean either foretelling or memories. Writing is perennial, feasting from the two dishes—that is why I am grateful I am a writer, I know whatever I do will last time. But I started writing to relief a pain. A history. I wanted to give it a life outside of me believing the story then, living in two places, will not be only shouldered by me.

Australian writer, Mark Tredinnick, once wrote, ”if I were not a writer, I would be leading someone else’s life.” Is it like that for you?

Not exactly, I would have done everything else with creativity; creativity is what brings writing into existence. To digress a little, to exist in a place like Nigeria requires you survive on something else. Robert Graves said you can’t say funds are low you need to write more poems (that’s to paraphrase him).  That is too stress the fact that most writers here exist in different fronts, but my confession is writing seeks to take over very of your sensibility though I believe if there is no means to write, there is always a means to be creative though that for me can’t be singing (laughs). 

Do you write prose as well?

Yes. For now, nobody will see them. There is a prose breathing in me. I have taught it to be patient, to wait for years and more, perhaps for ripeness.

Talking about poetry, how do poems come to you? Do you get the entire poem once or follow a thought, rhythm or story.

It is first intangible. A reality you cannot hold. Present. Obvious. Then it appoints you as its source, you couldn’t be really. So the poem is the conversation between you and the presence, most times a compromise. 

It could be a long conversation leading to numerous poems, each poem fighting to be the glimpse, the light caught in a perfect moment.

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