Students of Cardinal Ekandem Seminary; Budding poets.

Pen and purity cover
In the tranquillity and the solitudes of their respective homes, and inspired mostly, by the physical reality that they have come to appreciate as their natural element, these handsome, intelligent boys of about thirteen to fifteen years of age range, bare their minds with their pens and papers, producing in the process, one of the most pungent collections in modern poetry.

However, Literature – the oldest performing art in human history – has always been a large reflective mirror that throws back to the society whatever it captures, not in its original form, nevertheless, but in a form shrouded with implications and corrective measures. From its massive repertoire of poetry, or dramatic actions and demonstrations or the large volumes of prose narratives that came with the modern period, Literature is reputed for engaging its society in a cogent discourse, in the process, entertaining, informing and educating.

This collection entitled Pen and Purity is not an exception. Not only do the poems in this collection inform, entertain and educate, they also critique the prevailing social order – natural and man-made – in a very frightening discourse of tsunamic proportions; bringing to question the very things that are often taken for granted in the present social order.

In the innocence of young teens {Purity} they employ their most valuable tool {Pen} and pen-down what is {that should be and should not be} and what they hope should be the norm in an ideal society {if the society listens to their cries}.

From the fear that gripped them in the passing of their classmate and the psycho correspondence resulting in a Dinner with the Mysterious; to the fiery bullets of condemnations and rebukes that open Picking the Broken Pieces; the pains and sorrows that reveal their Blood and State, which bathe them in all their endeavours as teenagers in Nigeria – a country that their parents are taxpayers; to the only thing that keeps them alive in the Confessions of Faith; to their resolve to build a strong courage and Farm in the Rising Sunto the hope of a better tomorrow that enables them to fall into a deep Romance; these boys x-ray their thoughts in wide range of themes crafted mostly in five stanzas.

As one begins to digest the delicious content buried in these beautiful lines, what is most conspicuous, and fascinating is the maturity in thought and the philosophies of these teenagers. Though very young and to a greater extent, children, but the experiences they build up, whether in Theology, politics, social dynamics or natural phenomena, transcends the world of children.

From the strong, non-gendered attacks of Chibuike Uchenna, to the disdain of Mfonobong Utin; the fear of death that grips Abasi-freke Uyanga and the Faith expressed by Charles Mendie, this collection is a microcosm of the macro society.

Be our guest, as we launch this amazing collection to the world on Thursday, 19th July 2018, at Cardinal Ekandem Seminary, Uyo, at 9 am.