After the Ceremonies


After the Ceremonies

New and Selected Poems

Ama Ata Aidoo

Edited and with a foreword by Helen Yitah

African Poetry Book Series

276 pages


March 2017


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

March 2017


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

March 2017


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Ama Ata Aidoo is one of the best-known African writers today. Spanning three decades of work, the poems in this collection address themes of colonialism, independence, motherhood, and gender in intimate, personal ways alongside commentary on broader social issues. After the Ceremonies is arranged in three parts: new and uncollected poems, some of which Aidoo calls “misplaced or downright lost”; selections from Aidoo’s An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems; and selections from Someone Talking to Sometime.

Although Aidoo is best known for her novels Changes: A Love Story and Our Sister Killjoy, which are widely read in women’s literature courses, and her plays The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa, which are read and performed all over the world, her prowess as a poet shines in this collection.

Author Bio

Ama Ata Aidoo was born in Abeadzi Kyiakor, in south central Ghana in 1942. She studied literature at the University of Ghana, won a fellowship to Stanford University, and subsequently accepted visiting professorships in the United States and Africa. Her poetry collections include Birds and Other Poems, Someone Talking to Sometime, and An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems. Helen Yitah is an associate professor of English at the University of Ghana. She is the founding director of the University of Ghana–Carnegie Writing Centre and author of Throwing Stones in Jest: Kasena Women's Proverbial Revolt.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Helen Yitah    
Part One: New and Uncollected Poems
For My Mother in Her Mid-90s    
I. Fires and Ashes
Me Pilgrim    
Heathrow Healing    
As the Dust Begins to Settle II: An Afterword, Twenty Years On    
To a Silk Shirt in the Sun    
After the Ceremonies    
II. Grieving for the Living
An Interrogation of an Academic Kind: An Essay    
For Bessie Head    
A Taking Care of Our Bourgeois Palates II—    
Our Very Dear Juliana    
Juliana (The Translation)    
More Bad News: In Memoriam Fred E. K. Gbedemah    
Awoonor? Ebei Oo!     
Awoonor, Hmmm . . . (The Translation)    
These Days (III): A Letter to Flora Nwapa    
Ode to Qunu    
III. The National Corruption Index and Other Poems
The National Corruption Index    
I. Really Funny Numbers    
II. Just This Morning    
III. More Really Funny Numbers    
IV. About Single Trees    
IV. All of It    
On Reading Jackie Kay    
Why on Earth Do I Continue to Listen to the BBC?!     
Mourning Ricci    
IV. Ghana: Where the Bead Speaks
Ghana: Where the Bead Speaks    
Part Two: Selections from An Angry Letter in January
I: As Always, a Painful Declaration of Independence
As Always, a Painful Declaration of Independence    
II: Images of Africa at Century’s End
Images of Africa at Century’s End    
In Memoriam: The Ghana Drama Studio    
A Question from the Expatriate Community    
An Angry Letter in January    
Speaking of Hurricanes    
These Days: I    
Three Poems for Chinua Achebe    
1. A Modern African Story    
2. Questions    
3. New in Africa: I    
Loving the Black Angel    
No Grief No Joy    
An Insider’s View    
Two Letters    
1. Family    
2. After an Argument    
III: Women’s Conferences and Other Poems
Just One More Job for Mama    
Whom Do We Thank for Women’s Conferences?     
A Young Woman’s Voice Doesn’t Break. It Gets Firmer    
Comparisons II: We Women, Still!     
These Days: II    
A Path in the Sky    
A Birthday Gift    
A Postcard from My Vacation    
A Revelation    
Part Three: Selections from Someone Talking to Sometime
I: Of Love and Commitment
Of Love and Commitment    
Greetings from London    
Three Poems for Atta Britwum     
1. Ghana Funerals    
2. Nation Building    
3. A Salute to African Universities    
For Steve Hymer—A Propos 1966    
Two for Kojo    
1. As the Dust Begins to Settle—A Long Story II    
2. Regrets    
II: New Orleans: Mid-1970s
For a Zulu in the Bayous    
Acknowledgments—with an Apology to Ronald    
III: Routine Drugs
Routine Drugs I—for Eldred Jones    
Routine Drugs II    
Gynae One    
Comparisons—for Rose    
Wondering about Him Who Said No to the Glare of the Open Day    
IV: Reply to Fontamara
Reply to Fontamara I    
Reply to Fontamara II    
Now That the Weatherman Has Gone Crazy . . .    
Heavy Traffic    
From the Only Speech That Was Not Delivered at the Rally    
V: Legacies
The Visible World    
Of Gifts and References    
For Kinna II    
VI: Kwadwom from a Stillborn Creole Kingdom
Egyeifi’s Farewell    
Woaeenn I    
VII: Tomorrow’s Song
Wanted Urgently for Immediate Employment    
Source Acknowledgments    

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