Saturday, June 21, 2014

JUNE POEM: This Is How To Collect Wind

Set fire on your fingers
On the rules
They set
Flirt with his shadow

Stay back
Fuck it—
Blow Him Away

Be a woman.

(c) Jumoke Verissimo

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MAY POEM: Transience


The moon of many years has not aged
Like it was in Oluyole so it is in Ebedi
Covers of clouds sleep around like exiles
To become the dreams of fingers whipping
Hopes on keys, opening doors to desires
Which make windows entrances and exits.

When morning arranges itself at dawn
The dew is a curtain of questions
But once it parts itself to unveil hills
Blanketed by browning leaves
Assuring tomorrow is re-signed.

Each dream, returns naked once fulfilled
And again patterns figured as advances
Become the meaning of restless nights
And mornings that forget evenings.

Singing birds are a cliché of bushes
So what is it with the game of hope,
I see in the traveller’s eyes:
Finding solitude in a hideaway?

January is the metaphor of firsts
Its entrée of prediction is a varnish
Harbouring small sobs and silences

Like evening is the middleman
Between the morning and night
With one dream birthed in full course
As day reinvents itself with strayer dew.

*This poem was written during my stay as an artist-in-resident at the Ebedi International Writer’s Residency, where I worked on a collection of interconnected short stories. 
(c) Jumoke Verissimo

Thursday, May 15, 2014

An interview on Brittle Paper

"Jumoke Verissimo is the second of the three most recent residents we’re interviewing. The Lagos-born poet lives and writes in Ibadan. Her poetry collection, I Am Memory, is one of the definitive texts of contemporary Nigerian poetry. In this interview, she tells us about her stay at Ebedi, gives us her take on poetry in Nigeria, and dishes on her two stray cats. Enjoy!"

Read on here: Brittlepaper

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Call for Submission: Prairie Schooner Literary Journal

"The Prairie Schooner literary journal is excited to announce that our Winter 2014 issue will feature a poetry portfolio centered on the theme of Women and the Global Imagination, guest-edited by Alicia Ostriker. If you have work that you would like considered for this issue, send up to five pages of unpublished poems and/or prose poetry, along with your contact information and a 3-line bio, to

What would fit? Anything with an international dimension, or that engages in some way with the world we live in. We look forward to reading what you come up with!

The submission period ends May 15th."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Getting published

Hello good people!

Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement on my writing. I do appreciate the emails and messages on social media asking me why I have you not published a new book since 2008:

Here is my answer: I have not published a new book in the past years, because publishing indeed is serious business—especially if you have unusual vision. These past years, I have completed work on a collection of poems, a novel and a collection of interconnected short stories. I worked once as a copywriter in an advertising agency, and was always told you're as good as your last copy. Why I do not think I can get to the root of my reader’s dreams for the perfect book, I can look back at a book I have written and see the dream of perfection in it. I believe my reader can see that too, because they would know I worked towards that.

So, between editing and exploring publishing opportunities; and making sure my old book has some relevance while my dreams are accomplished, I have been working.
If you’re yet to own a copy of my collection of poems, it is available on Amazon website:
And bookshops across Nigeria.

Thank you

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Poems for a Century: An Anthology on Nigeria

I have two poems in the anthology: Poems for a Century: An Anthology on Nigeria edited by Tope Omoniyi a Professor of Sociolinguistics at Roehampton University

Other poets in the book are: Sulaiman Adebowale, Kole Ade-Odutola, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, Richard Ali, Ifi Amadiume, Afam Akeh, Tade Akin Aina, Peter Akinlabi, Funso Aiyejina, Ismail Bala, John Pepper Clark, Omohan Ebhodaghe, Amatoritsero Ede, Hope Eghagha, Ogaga Ifowodo, Zainabu Jallo, Adebayo Lamikanra, Akeem Lasisi, Okinba Launko, Chidi Anthony Opara, Uche Nduka, Obi Nwakanma, Cyril Obi, Olu Oguibe, Tolu Ogunlesi, Tanure Ojaide, Tope Omoniyi, Femi Oyebode, Jekwu Ozoemene, Remi Raji, E. E. Sule, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Sumaila Umaisha, Olajumoke Verissimo, Molara Wood, and Prince Abiathar Zadok.

 Order for your copy on Amalion Publishers website

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Poem: Only the dead know by Tolu Ogunlesi

It is rather late for anyone to pretend that the internet is absolutely unnecessary.  It is a lifestyle now. And it has become the source for expanding the terms of literature into an instant response platform. 
I won't discuss if that is positive or negative at this time. Rather, I think it is a necessary course for the arts in general. 

Recently, Teju Cole, 'orchestrated' (that's the word used by The Verge) short stories through his followers in bits.  There are already plans for the Twitter FictionFestival 2014, with a line up of authors. 

Here and there on the internet are stories of how to enable possibilities of internet publishing and social media interactions.

Anyway, this post is more about a poem I’m showcasing for the month. The poem affords us to see the aesthetics of the interaction on social media. The poet interrogates the ‘physical’ discourse which the social media uproots on different levels.

I find the poem: “only the dead know” by Tolu Ogunlesi,  published in Poetry Review, particularly interesting.