Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong and Beyond

 
9789881932112: Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong and Beyond

Long-listed for the inaugural Proverse Prize in 2009.
Chronicles observations and experiences in Hong Kong, Canada and Africa.
Smoked Pearl is Akin Jeje's first full-length collection of poetry, a semi-autobiographical compilation of poems written between 2005 and 2008.
The collection thus indirectly chronicles Jeje's arrival in Hong Kong and his subsequent observations of Hong Kong life, Chinese and world events (Canada, Iraq, the African Continent); and his musings on race, culture, everyday life and matters of the heart.
By turns exuberant, pensive, angry and poignant, Smoked Pearl speaks from the heart of a black Westerner as he negotiates the complexities of Asia's world city, and its unique place in Chinese history and culture.
Jeje sees Hong Kong as a place where the political intersects with the personal. In his poetry, he compellingly shows his consciousness that the territory itself creates its own daily poetry through the joined rhythms of its own existence and that of the emerging giant on whose lip it rests.
The title, Smoked Pearl, alludes to Hong Kong's position at the mouth of China's Pearl River Delta. But it also calls to mind Hong Kong's common designation as, the Pearl of the Orient, indicating that here we have a different view.
Jeje brings to Hong Kong and the world events he engages with a unique perspective of outrage, fascination, and, ultimately, compassion.

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About the Author:

Born in the United States of Nigerian and Kenyan parents in the early 1970s, Akin Jeje continuously writes multicultural experience in verse. Raised in diverse locations around the world from Lagos, Nigeria; London, England; and London, Ontario; to Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Petersham, Massachusetts, USA, Akin Jeje now lives and works in Hong Kong. Educated in Canada, he is the graduate of four universities: The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada (BA Sociology 1994); The University of Calgary (BA English 1996); The University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario (MA 2001) and York University in Toronto (B. Ed. Primary/Junior, 2005). An active poet and spoken-word performer in Canada since the early 1990s, and in Hong Kong since 2006 Jeje's works have been published and featured in both Canada and Hong Kong.

Review:

A fine collection of free verse; exuberant and thoughtful. Serious and moral; angry but also loving and compassionate. --Proverse Prize Judges

Jeje sees the gleam revealed within the grime: his titular smoked pearl evocative of this interplay of light and dark. For tarnished things must once have been precious, and though Jeje writes of wasted days, he recognises the briefness, 'the glory of the blaze.' â ¦ But for all that Jeje sees -- the injustice, the silence and the blame -- these darknesses of the human soul are not total: the night ends, hope dawns. --Viki Holmes, author of miss moon's class.

Jeje's gaze swivels from the intensely private to the trans-continentally public, but he remains ever a self-confessed jack swinger of verbs, offering us luscious, amorous nouns: Lustillusion. Despairconfusion. This profusion of sights and sounds is tender, scintillating, thought provoking. Priceless. --Xu Xi, author of Habit of a Foreign Sky and Evanescent Isles.

Jeje sees the gleam revealed within the grime: his titular smoked pearl evocative of this interplay of light and dark. For tarnished things must once have been precious, and though Jeje writes of wasted days, he recognises the briefness, 'the glory of the blaze.' ... But for all that Jeje sees -- the injustice, the silence and the blame -- these darknesses of the human soul are not total: the night ends, hope dawns. --Viki Holmes, author of miss moon's class.

Jeje's gaze swivels from the intensely private to the trans-continentally public, but he remains ever a self-confessed jack swinger of verbs, offering us luscious, amorous nouns: Lustillusion. Despairconfusion. This profusion of sights and sounds is tender, scintillating, thought provoking. Priceless. --Xu Xi, author of Habit of a Foreign Sky and Evanescent Isles.

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Akin Jeje
Published by Proverse Hong Kong (2010)
ISBN 10: 9881932114 ISBN 13: 9789881932112
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Akin Jeje (Akinsola Olufemi JeJe)
Published by Proverse Hong Kong
ISBN 10: 9881932114 ISBN 13: 9789881932112
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