Carrying knowledge up a palm tree: poetry

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Africa World Press, 1997 - Poetry - 100 pages
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About the author (1997)

Taban Lo Liyong is one of the most eccentric of modern African writers, both in his writing style and in his personal style. Even the titles of his works---"Fixions" (1969), "Eating Chiefs" (1970), "Franz Fanon's Uneven Ribs" (1971), "Another Nigger Dead" (1972)---catch the reader's attention. Born of southern Sudanese and Ugandan parents somewhere between 1938 and 1939, Lo Liyong grew up and was educated in Uganda. He then went to the United States to complete his education at Howard University and Iowa University. A widely traveled man, Lo Liyong joined the faculty of the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, on his return from the United States. He then went on to teach at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, following the breakdown of law and order after Idi Amin's takeover of Uganda in the early 1970's. Political repression in Kenya, however, drove him to seek new climes in the University of Papua and New Guinea. He has since settled in southern Sudan, where, after serving as director of cultural affairs in Juba, he now teaches at the university located in the city. As a folklorist, Lo Liyong has researched Luo and Masai oral traditions and has published two collections of folk tales: "Fixions" and "Eating Chiefs". He is, however, best known for his poetry collections---"Franz Fanon's Uneven Ribs", "Another Nigger Dead", "The Last Word", and "Another Last Word". A strong advocate of the use of African languages for creative writing and for the grounding of African writing in traditional African thought patterns and aesthetics, he creates his eccentric writings in order to measure up to his Afrocentric standards.

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