The Journals of African Literature and Culture: A Reader Overview   

With the coming to the internet of Africa Journals of Literature and Culture in the early years of 2000 young writers and researchers all over the continent and beyond were able to avail themselves with the first recorded online medium for the transmission of African literary aesthetic. And how they jumped at the opportunity? Enthusiasm and a tinge of nationalism!  
The result ten years later between 2004 and 2014 became a wealth of academic papers published around the subjects of African literature, poetry, orature, and African American Diaspora culture. 

For the first time, then, and continuing to the present, anyone – student reader or scholar – could demand or order for print texts and journals from the IRCALC Library of Afrcian Writing; find scholarly reviews and criticism on contemporary African (and Diaspora African) writers such as: Achebe . Aidoo . Allende . Ambanasom . Andreas . Armah . Atta . Ba . Bandele-Thomas . Bessora . Beti . Biyaoula . Brathwaite . Camara . Ce . Coetzee . Couto . DAguiar . Dasylva . Dlamini . Emecheta . Enekwe . Ezeigbo . Fall . Farah . Forna . Gimba . Gordimer . Habila . Head . Iyayi . Kane . Kuti . Lessing . Lopes . Lupenga . Mabanckou . Magona . Mahfouz . Makeba . Morrison . Mpe . Naipaul . Ndongo .  Ngugi. Nkengasong . Ofeimun . Ojaide . Okri . Onwueme . Osammor . Osofisan . Osundare .   Naylor . Ousmane .Oyono . Rotimi . Roumain . Shakur . Soyinka . Toomer . Ushie . Uways . Vassanji . Vera . Walker . Wilson…Plus:- Angolan Writing . Camerounian Birth Songs . Hindi Movies in Africa . Igbo War, Marriage and Birth Songs . New Kenyan Writers . Nigerian Pidgin Rhetoric . Oral Performance among the Graffi . Rumuji Women Dance . Rwandese Insigamigani Texts . Yoruba Satirical Songs . Zimbabwean Popular Music. 

The result is the emergence of The Library of African Writing [AW], Journals of Critical Studies [CS], African Literature [JAL] and New Poetry [NP] are annual volumes of critical essays on the literatures of Africa and her Diaspora. For any of these publications one can still order from an online bookstore or contact the publisher for bulk order quotation.


Journal of African Literature 12

The Journal of African Literature No. 12 [African Narratives] is the final review of writings of African and African American experience in order to elicit from narrative contents that include Western narratives on Africa the processes of individual talent and perspectives around an essentially African experience. Insights abound on Narratives, Language and Resistance by scholars who envision writers in their imaginative articulation of African identity, their contestation of history, their reassessmente dramatic form for communal uplifts and social transformation. Several comparisons of more than one or two authors and their oeuvre emerging from this historic enterprise have met our standards for diligent assessment of African centred creative thought alongside vision, progress and aesthetic, not neglecting the expanding awareness and consciousness of space. Other prevailing discussions and reassessments around global peace initiatives and international friendships that create room for complementary values as the new approach to cultural understanding and appreciation in contemporary society have been appraised in some works of new fiction writers and poets. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture No. 12 [African Rhythms] Chin CE – Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2015 215 p. ISBN: 978-1-329-08548-0  Cover Design: Michael Randall

Journal of African Literature 11

From a unique concern with authors and their work we showcase several authors and writings of African and Lusophone African experience in the desired curiosity about African literary content and the processes of tradition and talent within a cultural mother-hive that spans several decades of creative virtuosity by Africas prodigious talents. We have incorporated new insights and transformative perspectives on history and language; our scholars investigate tendencies and evocations that envision the imaginative articulation of African identity, the contestation of language and history, the reassessment of culture and heritage within a tradition of literature for communal uplift and social transformation. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture 11  [African Rhythms] Chin CE – Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2014 206p. ISBN: 978-9-7836-0369-1  Cover Design: Michael Randall

Africa and Her Writers [Edition 10]

The Tenth anniversary edition of the Journal of African Literature Contemporary Series features criticisms and reviews on favourite authors of African fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. The lead essay on Toomer examines his creation of a new idiom which allows him to express the more immediate and intricate complexities of the African-American experience. Other writings of African and African American experience showcased in this volume would provoke curiosity about literary tradition and individual talent interacting within a  cultural hive that spans several decades. The comparisons of authors and their oeuvre which emerge from this historic enterprise satisfies the quest for appraisal of vision, progress, aesthetic and individual consciousness. What is here called an examination of literary cultures is the emergence of theoretical illumination regarding the ebullient crafts from our hemisphere. 

Buy Print Copy: Africa and Her Writers [JALC 10 Special Edition] Chin CE – Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2013 236 p. ISBN: 978-9-783-60358-6  Cover Design: Michael Randall

Journal of African Literature 9

The Journal of African Literature 9 further marks the permutation of Black literary traditions within and beyond the continent, providing the forum for rediscovery – and revalidating – of traditional African values as the African text finds itself constantly seeking and reinventing new spatializations, new definitions and new ways in which universal African visions may find expressions in and by means of literature. The Contemporary Series [II] argues that as we recognize common values, the plan of universal brotherhood, indeed, comes nearer and we begin to sense our own place in its ultimate realization. Using the works of Morrison, Head, Ba, Vera, Magona, Rotimi, Okri, DAguiar, Onwueme, Mabanckou, Biyaoula and the Insigamigani texts of Rwanda, scholars present further approaches to the concepts and problems of race, heroism and the African writers memory and reinvention of linear time. The heroism and wisdom of African proverbs as a metagenre are being rediscovered in the new writings of African scholars. The unity of culture is also highlighted in the importance of sharing equally fruits of modern collective efforts. A palimpsestic or multidimensional notion of time and existence is replacing linearity time that seems very much an arbitrary creation of Western materialist consciousness. And the perception of unity in great variety broadens rather than narrows our perception of our universe. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature 9.  Eds. Chin CE – Charles SMITH.  IRCALC: N. Carolina, 2012. 230 p. ISBN: 978-1-105-51553-8. Cover Design: Michael Randall

African Literature and Culture 8

The Contemporary Series the Journal of African Literature #8 pursues the quest of established writings from Africa and her Diaspora in Black literary traditions. With critical evaluations of the works of Gordimer, Ngugi, Naipaul, Farah, Armah, Vassanji, Mahfouz, Iyayi, Osofisan, Magona, Allende, Atta and Naylor, JAL No. 8 as a compendium of contemporary Black literature has provided the comparative bridge for the eternal communion of literary and mythological heritage which inhere in resuscitating the past as a means of restoring some of the lost values of African traditions. Featuring the Oral-Written Interface in Achebe’s fictions, this volume of contributions from scholars of Black and African writing around the world has exploded theoretical frameworks of propagating indigenous knowledge about the Black experience, the tensions of space and identity at various political, social, economic and psychological levels of African national existence, and their possible remediation through imaginative ideological fusions that are embedded in the external and subjective realities of our world. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture # 8.  Eds. SMITH, Charles  and Chin CE IRCALC, 2011 228 p. ISBN: 978-9-783-50342-7. Cover Design: Michael Randall

African Literature and Culture 7

This edition of 2010 Journal of African Literature marks our quest further through an all-expansive African heritage in and beyond regional or national groupings. It is built upon theoretical frameworks of Black cultural nationalism as an ideally consistent element of contemporary African-centred modernity. Across Borders is an attempt to commit the process of African integration in Postcoloniality and Postmodernity to the exploration of perspectives on Black Identities in contemporary writings and the interaction of cultural expressions beyond the borders of Africa and across the Atlantic. Contributing scholars, researchers and theoretical exponents in their studies of new and existing literatures have exhibited knowledgeableness about how the African experience of modernity associated with a Western paradigm is fraught with corruption and tensions at various political, social, economic and psychological levels of African communal and individual existence, and its possible remediation through an imaginative articulation of the greater unity and higher prospects in the diversities, hybridity and fusions that are embedded in the external and subjective realities of the black world. This is African literature at its best artistic engagement. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture 7  Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2010 206 p. ISBN: 9-789-7835-0341-0  Cover Design: Zito Brown

Journal of African Literature 6

 An important contribution which explores the integration of the Oral Tradition of African writing within the New and Contemporary Expressions. In this volume scholars have strived to adopt innovative and multilayered perspectives on orality and its manifestations on contemporary African and new literatures. African scholars’ commitment in the study in Oral Traditions is borne from the awareness that African verbal arts still survive in works of discerning writers, in the conscious exploration of tropes, perspectives, philosophy and consciousness, its complementary realism and ontology for the delineation of authentic African response to memory, history and all possible confrontations with existence such as witnessed in recent analyses of the African novel. The Writer’s Forum on Re-visioning African Writing argues, for African writing, new directions that incorporate truly original perspectives which pride in knowing the past, interpreting the present and exploring the future from fidelity to African cultural endowments, rational vigour and sense of positive destiny. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture No. 6.  Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2009 192 p. ISBN: 9-789-7836-0353-0 

Journal of New Poetry 6

 The Sixth edition of Journal of New Poetry comes as a tribute to Africa’s lady of song, Miriam Makeba. A fitting dedication to the symbol of African womanhood whose talents had served to place Africa and her music as foremost among its kind in the world.  The Makeba Story here is a review of Mama Afrikas own life story — an arrangement which makes the life and work of the late singer provide impetus for the study of the poetic and visionary crafts of Africa’s living and departed singers and poets. This volume takes historical, sociological, literary, aesthetic perspectives on the evolution, practice and emergence of African poetry and music as mutually reliant and dependent creative media of art in society. It proposes that music should weave naturally, and most perceptibly, with the religious functions of art in a social communion that holds greater purpose for individual and communal well being. The focus on poetry and music recognises the significance of both artistic forms to contemporary African experience. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of New Poetry No. 6, Emezue, GMT (Ed.) IRCALC, 2009 226 p. ISBN: 978-9-7836-0352-6

Journal of African Literature 5

 Containing Fifteen (15) original papers on the theme of War and Conflict in African literature written by scholars from the United Kingdom, Africa, Asia, and America, this 2008 volume of JAL is divided in two broad categories of National/Political and Gender Conflicts, to which we have added our traditional Writer’s and Chat Forums which feature writers and critics from Nigeria. This 360-page Journal has Four grand Divisions: The Writer’s Forum, National/Political, Gender Conflicts, and the Chat Forum. Francophone and Anglophone writers whose works are given prominent and truly novel critical attention include Chinua Achebe, Ola Rotimi, Meja Mwangi, Bessora, Buchi Emecheta, Akachi Ezeigbo,  Chin Ce, Aminata Fall and Stella Osammor. A biographical review of Lusophone Angolan writers, de Miranda, Franco, and de Assis Junior, has also been added to the journal. JAL 5 (2008) Chat Forum further hosts seven authors (Gabriel Okara, Elechi Amadi, Femi Osofisan, Odia Ofeimun, Chidi Maduka, JOJ Nwachukwu-Agbada and Julie Okoh all from Nigeria) in a debate on African Literature and Conflict Resolution. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture No. 5. Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2008 360 p. ISBN: 978-9-7836-0350-9  Cover Design: Michael Randall 

The Journal of New Poetry 5

 The Fifth edition of the 2008 Journal of New Poetry is appropriately tagged Rhythms of Conflict with the promise of greater relevance in the dynamics of poetry of the twenty-first century and its appreciation. Dedicated to Jack Mapanje, the distinguished Malawian poet and scholar whose verses had brought him incarceration in the Kamuzu Banda regime, the NP No. 5 hopes to challenge readers of African poetry with the aliveness of African art to the political and social concerns of the century. It continues the theme of War and Conflict Resolution in African Literature and throws further light on the poetry of National and Ethnic Africa. Theme Studies on the Rhythms of Conflicts have selected papers from Zimbabwe and Nigeria which add unique contemporaneous dimensions to the poetic expressions in Africa through songs, oratory and music. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of New Poetry No. 5, Emezue, GMT (Ed). IRCALC, 2008 226 p. ISBN: 978-9-7836-0351-6 

African Literature and Culture 4

 The Journal of African Literature and Culture 4 (2007) journal issue inaugurates a widening trend in African literary criticism that embraces formerly uncharted currents in African imaginative literatures. It is predicated upon a literary awakening that has been consistent with the attempt towards the collegiate vision of imaginative reconstruction and critical development of literary and cultural Africa in a way that departs from old attitudes thereby crystallizing in vaster terrains of literary expression and appreciation. Ten scholarly essays /reviews from South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroun, Germany, Canada, the United States and Netherlands are available in this current Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC (4) which focuses on the prose and dramatic fictions of Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone writers from  across Africa and the African Diaspora. The Journal contains three phases of literary criticisms involving rejoinders from past-present concerns, oratorical strategies of narrative, and issues of cultural and contemporary modernity. The dramatic literatures of Ama Ata Aidoo, Tess Onwueme and Femi Osofisan have been re-examined in addition to fresh insights on the prose writings of Bessora, Bessie Head, Mia Couto, Coetzee, Laye, Ce, and younger writers of the new tradition. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture 4. Charles SMITH (Ed)  IRCALC, 2007. 218p. ISBN: 978-9-78-360340-0

The Journal of New Poetry 4

 The  Journal of New Poetry No. 4, dedicated to Nigerian poet, and cultural critic, Chinweizu, pays special attention to the Lianja epic of the Mongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The West Indian poetry of Edward Kamau Brathwaite, the poetry of Chinweizu, and some works of younger African poets like Oguibe and Kahengua  to mention but a few, have also been accorded deserving footnotes in literary studies. ‘Our 2008 edition of our New poetry journal is even an improvement on our previous effort’, say the editors in the Preface. The Literary Chat Forum, absent in the preceding NP3 of 2007, is back in this edition. It features Nigerian poet and literary scholar, Joe Ushie, whose discussions with Ama Amoah and Mark Lilleleht bring us more knowledge about past and present Nigerian social conditions. “Griots of our Times” examines African contemporary poetics which will delight scholars of poetry world over. The reader will also find the review of three recent -poetry publications from Canada, Namibia and Nigeria a revealing introduction to new trends in modern poetry. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of New Poetry 4, EMEZUE, GMT (Ed). IRCALC, 2007, 200p. ISBN: 9-789-78360349-3

African Literature and Culture 3

 Journal of African Literature and Culture JALC 3 comes with fourteen essays, commentaries and reviews by contributors from Canada, United States, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom in what promises to become a major referential guide to critical appreciation of African literature. Continuing the theme of Re-Imagining African Literature articles in this issue include critical reappraisals of the works of notable younger and older African writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, JM Coetzee, Chin Ce, Dangaremgba, Vassanji, Ama Ata Aidoo, Mongo Beti to mention but a few. In their preface the editors propose a wholistic approach to criticism of African literature in spite of its regional and national groupings and the reimagining of issues of African modernity in relation to contemporary definitions of the Black world. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of African Literature and Culture 3.  SMITH, Charles and Chin CE (eds), IRCALC, 2006, 230 p. ISBN:  978-9-78-360347-9

The Journal of New Poetry 3

 2006 Journal of New Poetry of African Expressions contains scholarly essay contributions and features new poetic expressions from Africa, America, Canada and the Caribbean islands. In addition, you will find the reviews of three -poetry publications from Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Jamaica an engaging study of literary trends from the African Diaspora. IRCALC Editors hope by this issue to bring further searchlights on African and African-American poetry, the broader perception of history and continuity apparent even from a glance at Africa’s contemporary poetry in so far as their entire historical (oral-written) contexts are deemed of importance for research and scholarship. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of New Poetry [African Expressions] 3. GMT Emezue (ed). IRCALC, 2006, 274p. ISBN: 978 36034 9 3

Onuora Ossie Enekwe -CS (A)2

 Second IRCALC Critical Supplement (A)2 series on African Writing assembles a total of 17 Critical Essays, Chats, and Reviews on the Poetry and Prose Fictions of Nigerian professor of dramatic literature Onuora Ossie Enekwe. IRCALC’s literary scholar and editor of the series, GMT Emezue, notes that this is the first collective and comprehensive criticism and theorizing of Enekwe, whose writings have bolstered African aesthetic contributions to world literature and theatre. Onuora Ossie Enekwe is a catalyst for more extensive undertakings in the criticism of Enekwes and other serious African writings of our time. The Enekwe Project emerges in three major parts. The first section, Chats, is a reproduction of earlier published interactions between Enekwe himself and a few commentators on the genre. The second part, Critiques, is the longest of the three series containing objective and scholarly assessments of the merits and perceived drawbacks of Enekwe’s poetry by scholars from Cameroun, Nigeria, Ghana and the United Kingdom. Enekwe is compared with other contemporary African poets as Anyidoho, Ce, Ushie and Ude. The third part of the journal deals with major Reviews of Enekwes lesser known and other popular writings which altogether incorporate the rhythm of our exciting but agonizingly self-destructive world. IRCALC scholars and participants in this 2008 Critical Supplement excel in their mandate to appraise the maturation of Enekwes craft in the selections beginning from Broken Pots and Marching to Kilimanjaro through Enekwe’s more remarkable short fiction, The Last Battle, including a major reading of that important but neglected novel on the Nigerian civil war, Come Thunder, thereby expanding the latitude for historical, ideological and stylistic criticism of contemporary African writing. 

Buy Print Copy: Onuora Ossie Enekwe. Critical Supplement (A)2  GMT EMEZUE (Ed)  IRCALC, 2008 246 p. ISBN: 978-9-7836-0352-3.

Works of Chin Ce -CS(A)1

 As part of its ongoing collaboration with writers and researchers towards updating critical responses and approaches to the oeuvres of some of the important voices of contemporary African writing, IRCALC editors present select criticisms by literary scholars in United Kingdom, Cameroon, Nigeria, Canada and United States centring on the works of Nigerian poet and novelist, Chin Ce. Divided in three phases of study: an Overview, a section on the Short and Longer Fictions of Chin Ce and a final part dealing with the Poetry of Chin Ce, all works here critiqued include Ce’s well known fictions, Children of Koloko [2001], Gamji College [2002] and poetry, An African Eclipse [2000]. Attempts have also been made to give Chin Ces other works, The Visitor [2004] (fiction) and Full Moon [1992] (poetry) as much critical attention here as his Millennial [2005] collection of poems. These papers, taken as a whole, reveal the ideals, craft and vision of Chin Ces fictional preoccupation in the past few years. However, they are only a mild testimony to the wider interest and acceptance which the new generation of African voices will continue to generate among literary scholars around the world. Read the Preface. 

Buy Print Copy: The Works of Chin Ce. Critical Supplement (A)1. Irene MARQUES (Ed)  IRCALC, 2007 206 p. ISBN: 978-9-78-360343-1 

New Nigerian Poetry NNP 2 
 This issue of the New Nigerian Poetry Journal, NNP goes with a brilliant dedication to retiring professor of English, Romanus Egudu, of the University of Benin in recognition of his contributions to the development of African literature (in general) and Nigerian poetry in particular. The NNP No. 2 journal also presents a literary showcase: the Chat Forum hosted by project editor GMT Emezue where Nigerian poet and novelist Chin Ce debuts as guest. Other features include new studies of Nigerian poets such as Romanus Egudu himself, Ossie Onuora Enekwe,  Odia Ofeimun and Ken Saro Wiwa. 

Buy Print Copy: Journal of New Nigerian Poetry No. 2. GMT Emezue (Ed). IRCALC, 2005, 167 p. ISBN: 978 36034 9 3

African Literary Journal B5

 The African Literary Journal ALJ B5 sets the stage for future literary appreciation which studies the literary, social and political realities of developing nations. The exclusivity of disciplines of the early school appears to be replaced by a concept that anchors on a more imaginative approach to disciplinary relations where borders seem to merge in their treatment of contemporary problems such as feminism, or sexual discrimination, politics, nation building, literacy and culture. This volume of critical illuminations has sought to prove, against the backdrop of modern attitudes toward literatures coming from nations deemed “ethnic minorities,” that literature in Africa has lived up to the challenges of the growing esthetic imagination to form an active, refreshing part of world cultural discourse.  

Buy Print Copy: African Literary Journal B5.  SMITH, Charles and Chin CE (eds),  IRCALC, 2005, 162 p. ISBN: 978 36034 0 X

African Literary Journal B4

 Toward the imaginative approach to Africa’s development issues is the focus of IRCALCs B4 edition of the African Literary Journal. ALJ B4 comes with a new integrative and indigenous approach to Africa in spite of the cultural myopia of some western critics. The so-called minority nations may yet become major streams in the estuary of global politics, say the editors in their preface to the journal volume. With the emphasis on African oral literatures,  Mbunda and Ce write on birth songs of Cameroonian women performers and riddle contests of youth artistes from Nigeria respectively in a manner that recognises the immediate relevance of this greatly cherished but neglected part of African literary aesthetics. In spite of the exuberance of editorial efforts, however, the collections in this edition may only whet the appetite for the imaginative chronicle of Africa’s progress in the last decade.  

Buy Print Copy: African Literary Journal B4, IRCALC. SMITH, Charles and Chin CE (eds), 2003, 127 p. ISBN: 978 36034 4 2


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