Mukoma Wa Ngugi

African Poetry Book Series

96 pages


November 2016


$15.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2016


$15.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2016


$15.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Written as a tribute to family, place, and bodily awareness, Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s poems speak of love, war, violence, language, immigration, and exile. From a baby girl’s penchant for her parents’ keys to a warrior’s hunt for words, Wa Ngugi’s poems move back and forth between the personal and the political. In the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, the biting winds of Boston, and the heat of Nairobi, Wa Ngugi is always mindful of his physical experience of the environment. Ultimately it is among multiple homes, nations, and identities that he finds an uneasy peace. 

Author Bio

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is an assistant professor of English at Cornell University. His books include the novel Black Star Nairobi and the poetry collection Hurling Words at Consciousness.


“Mukoma’s energetic voice leaps out of poems that roll effortlessly and often joyously off the tongue. They are a wonderful adventure into his world of family and friendship, history, memory, and the imagination.”—Bernardine Evaristo, author of Mr. Loverman and Hello Mum

Table of Contents

I. To Give a Word a Name
Preface: Hunting Words with My Father    
Ancestries of Land Mines    
My Two Names    
To Our Unborn Child Whom We Shall Name Nyambura    
In Your Name    
A Moment between Writing    
An Orange    
Pepto Bismol    
Multiplicity and Skins    
Safe House    
II. Shadows and Light
Shadows and Light in Play    
The Clouds Above    
A Walk amongst Shadows with Sandra    
Perfect Silence Is When Each Thing Sings Itself    
Geysers and Hot Springs    
New Frontiers: Wisconsin Winter    
I. Excerpts from an Immigrant’s Diary    
III. Whispers and Tendrils
First Meetings    
First Date    
Framing Your Picture    
Framing a Second Picture    
Guttural Love    
Love and Distance    
Leper’s Gold    
Nostalgia I    
Nostalgia II    
A Poem Written in Silence    
Last Frames    
IV. Remembrances
A Poem for Arthur Nortje and Other Lost African Poets    
Welcoming Mortality Home    
My Grandfather’s Hands    
Letter to My Artist Friend Who Died Young    
Eight Months and Two Days Loading Trucks at UPS    
To My Archeologist    
V. Gifts of Violence
Gifts of Violence    
To the Driver Who Splashed Me with Rainwater    
Dread Locks    
Prints of Genocide    
I Swear I See Skulls Coming    
Kenya: A Love Letter    
This Is What I Know    
Epilogue: On Reading the Poem I Should Have Written    

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