Poetry, Literature, English, African Diasporan Literature, African Literature


Poems by Obi Nwakanma originally published in Birthcry, Kraft Books, 2016. Reproduced with permission. This version is released under a Creative Commons 4.0 Non-Commerical No Derivatives license.

These poems are featured in a broader open educational resource authored by Kathleen Hohenleitner.


Born and raised in southern Nigeria, Obi Nwakanma is an Igbo poet and scholar of African and African diasporan literature. The three poems included here, “A Brief Memoir of Time,” “Child of Four Winds” and “Last Will and Testament” come from his book, Birthcry (Kraft Books 2016), which was a finalist for the 2016 Nigeria Literature Prize. These poems capture the author’s uniquely lyrical, gnomic, and prophetic voice and represent well the themes that define the volume: ancestry, historical consciousness, the politics and psychology of decolonization, Africa’s place in a polyethnic global society, and openness to the future as the speaker’s generation passes on the challenges of life to the next generation, imagined as a child listening to the speaker’s verse.

Date Created


Learning Resource Type

Collection of Readings

Type of Review

Editor Review


College of Arts and Humanities



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