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Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known


This fourth collection of poetry, his first in ten years, spans the poet’s recent experience of exile from Nigeria as well as the journeys that have followed his Nobel Prize for Literature award. Here are reflections on the deaths of politicians, dictators and dissident friends as well as invocations to fellow writers Ken Saro-Wiwa, Josef Brodsky and Chinua Achebe. In sections tellingly entitled ‘Outsiders’, ‘Of Exits’ or the poem sequence ‘Twelve Canticles for the Zealot’, Soyinka confronts political realities – religious fundamentalism, bigotry and the repression of free speech.

Author: Wole Soyinka

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