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The Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems, 1964–2013

Kofi Awoonor

Edited and with an introduction by Kofi Anyidoho

Foreword by Kwame Dawes

Kofi Awoonor, one of Ghana’s most accomplished poets, has for almost half a century committed himself to teaching, political engagement, and the literary arts. The one constant that has guided and shaped his many occupations and roles in life has been poetry. The Promise of Hope is a beautifully edited collection of some of Awoonor’s most arresting work spanning almost fifty years.

Selected and edited by Awoonor’s friend and colleague Kofi Anyidoho, himself a prominent poet and academic in Ghana, The Promise of Hope contains much of Awoonor’s most recent unpublished poetry, along with many of his anthologized and classic poems. This engaging volume serves as a fitting contribution to the inaugural cohort of books in the African Poetry Book Series.

“A celebration of the work of one of our important world poets for readers both inside and outside Africa.”—from the foreword by Kwame Dawes

“We pay homage to Kofi Awoonor as a poet not only with a profound vision and articulation of the world, our world, but also with a gift of words that is at home in poetry, in prose, in critical literary studies, and equally in major essays about our African, our human condition.”—from the introduction by Kofi Anyidoho

Excerpt from Kofi Awoonor’s poem “To Feed Our People”

When the final night falls on us

as it fell upon our parents,

we shall retire to our modest home

earth-sure, secure

that we have done our duty

by our people;

we met the challenge of history

and were not afraid

Author Details

Kofi Awoonor has been a diplomat, a professor of comparative literature at numerous universities, and recently retired from teaching full-time in the Department of English at the University of Ghana. He is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Night of My Blood, Ride Me, Memory, The House by the Sea, and The Latin American and Caribbean Notebook. His collected poems (through 1985) were published in Until the Morning After. Kofi Anyidoho, a poet and scholar, serves on editorial boards for several journals and has been a guest editor of Matatu, a journal of African culture and society that is published in Amsterdam.


Release Date: March 2014

Size: 229 x 152mm; Extent: 328pp

Price: £14.95, $19.95, €16.50, CFA12000

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Last edited: 31 10 2017