Black Lawrence Press

The Giving of Pears

The Giving of Pears Abayomi Animashaun

The Giving of Pears, winner of the 2008 Hudson Prize, is Abayomi Animashaun’s debut poetry collection. Animashaun, a Nigerian emigré, had this to say about the book:

“In writing these poems, I saw the page as a sort of living room, where I could go to have a party. And, of course, everyone was welcome: To drink wine. Join the conga line. Do a shimmy or cha-cha. Kiss in the manner of Zebras. Sumo wrestle guavas. Or even swing from rafters with giraffes. I wasn’t at all surprised when Tomatoes, Fish; Grapes, Goats, Thieves; Mohammed, Rilke, The Unseen; and so many others showed up for the party. Since each guest was allowed to do as he/she pleased. Goats removed their hooves, their hides, and wept like women. Women, in turn, tried on hides, hooves, and stared like goats. Stones imagined themselves naked. Kettles became villages. The Unseen, continued as they always have–conducting their own festivals and singing their own songs…”

Praise

  • “Abayomi Animashaun’s poems hum inside like a good cocktail. Their vivid, magical powers of witness lift up the world.”
    —Naomi Shihab Nye
  • "Abayomi's world, gods and prophets and dead friends walk ‘in and out of walls.’ Fruits and animals of a lost ancestral village—guava, iguanas and goats, flock on flock—assert their spiritual presence. To say these are merely 'religious' poems would be an understatement…these poems vibrate with living spirits, giving voice and honor to the unseen. Indeed, this is a fresh and dazzling first book."
    —Marilyn Chin

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Abayomi Animashaun

Abayomi Animashaun is a Nigerian émigré. He holds an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and
a PhD from the University of Kansas. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals, including 
Diode, TriQuarterly, The Cortland ReviewAfrican American ReviewSouthern Indiana ReviewThe Adirondack Review, Passages North, and Versedaily. A recipient of the Hudson Prize and a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Abayo is the author of three poetry collections, Seahorses, Sailing for Ithaca, and The Giving of Pears, and the editor of three anthologies, Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New & Beginner Poets, Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America, and Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa (with Spectra, Tatenda Muranda, Irwin Iradunkunda, and Timothy Kimutai). A member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, Abayo teaches writing and literature  at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and lives with his wife and two children in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Animashaun Author page

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