From a Harmattan of many discontents, Wordsbody attempts to spring back into blogging, and sadly it's a post about the tragic death of poet Ify Omalicha, who was in an accident along the Lokoja-Abuja highway. The terrible news was confirmed by PEN Nigeria yesterday.
Wasn't she lovely? From the many tributes pouring in from writers who've encountered and collaborated with her over many years, it appears she was lovely inside, too.
Ify (short for Ifeyinwa) was the author of 3 poetry collections, including 'They Run Still' and 'Now That Dreams Are Born'. As recently as Thursday, March 8, Omalicha was one of 3 writers featured in a literary reading and interaction event for International Women's Day, held at the University of Lagos. Also on the programme with her were Lola Shoneyin and Chinyere Okafor.
I don't recall ever meeting Ify Omalicha, though we will likely have been at some events at the same time over the years. I understand that just two days ago, Friday morning, she was with a female poet I saw later that same day at Odia Ofeimun's 62nd birthday event at the Muson Centre. I wonder if Ify was also at the Muson... May she rest in peace, and may her work live on.
I am a writer and arts journalist now based in Lagos. This is a blog on arts and culture. The focus is on Nigeria's art scene, especially her 'Word's Body' - the writers. As and when, we'll also touch on wider African writing, as well as international literature. In short, a saturation of the arts.