Greetings from the Ocean City of Accra, Ghana: The Pan African Literary Forum in Ghana is Going Well Out Here

At home just before I left for Ghana

The Pan African Literary Forum Study Abroad in Ghana is going well out here in Ghana, West Africa. We are just at the end of the first week of teaching and poetry festival.

Hello Everyone:

Have you been calling and not getting me? Some of you have no clue I’m away, but hey, let me tell you how much fun it is out here with photos. My “adopted” daughter who is actually my son’s friend, Ashanti caught me on e-mail the other day and started chatting. She wanted me to post some photos so she and others would know what was going on with me. I have been out here really working, doing research, and teaching students poetry at the Pan African Literary Forum’s Study Abroad in Accra, Ghana. There are a lot of wonderful writers and students of writing out here. The trip has included much laughter and tears too, so here below is what it is.

Here Below is Poet Laureate of South Africa, Keorapetse Kgositsile reading and giving the keynote address at the opening ceremony. I enjoyed meeting and exchanging books with him during the week.

I was the second of three readers at the opening ceremony, reading after the South African poet. The readings and opening ceremony took place at the WEB Dubois Center of New York University’s Ghana campus in Accra.

The third poet reading at the opening ceremony was Tyehimba Jess below at the mic.

Below are a cross section of photos from the opening ceremony on July 5, 2008

I am in the middle here of the heat, students from all over Africa, teaching poetry workshops, eating Ghanaian Banku, fufu, rice and tomato stew, and of course, all fufus must and must be eaten with hand, poetry readings, publishers lectures, more eating, taxi cab drivers who can’t find their way around their own city, more poetry readings and discussions, and now tomorrow, we will visit Cape Coast and see the Slave Castles. This has been a wonderful experience. The sun in Ghana is like no other sunshine, and does not come any close to my own country of Liberia, West Africa.

My friend, creative non-fiction writer, Faith Adiele and me talking at the opening ceremony

Below here is our last performer of the evening, Grandmaster Masese from Kenya. Masese is a very young and talented writer/musician.

Below is a cross section of the group at the opening ceremony. My camera help caught Laurie Calhoun explaining some concept about something apparently very important. I was glad to meet Laurie who is the Publications Editor of Transition Magazine at Harvard because I had worked with her preparing my poems for publication in Transition Magazine.:

In Search of Our Ancestral Past- The Pain of Visiting the Slave Dungeons at Elmina Slave Forts and the Cape Coast Slave Dungeons:

The Pan African Literary Forum’s students and Creative Writing teachers took a two and a half hour trip to the Slave Forts located at Elmina and Cape Coast. We rode in two buses in the hot Ghana sun, but our arrival at the Dungeons was met with emotion like no other I have known for a long time.

Standing Before a Dungeon brings only tears

This is just a brief blogging of the painful moment when one comes upon this huge structure where our ancestors were bound and chained, bundled up and beaten in preparation for the long transatlantic trip to slavery and to death. I broke down just like many others, shedding tears. Even the men were struck dump with silence at looking at the ingeniousness of torture.

A group of us Pan Africa Literary Forum participants standing before the Elmina Slave Fort. This is a solemn moment.

My Visit to the Buduburam Refugee camp:

The Buduburam Refugee Camp where Liberian refugees have been for the past nearly two decades is shutting down. I took a cab to the camp to speak with camp members, but particularly, because I still have a sister-in-law in the camp. Camp members live in little small mud houses erected like a shanty town, and have made a sort of a make-shift home for themselves. This was my first visit, and again, there was much emotion, the pain of watching so many who had lost the years, now packing to return on their own to Liberia. The trucks were high with furniture and personal belongings. My sister in-law was healthy, a mix emotion of happiness and sorrow just to see me, but it was a wonderful moment. One concern she has is the concern of all of the other refugees. They are being pushed out of the camp without any incentives to help them get back home or help them resettle in war-torn Liberia. But they are leaving anyway. Hopefully, most of the refugees will find home at home, jobs, schools, opportunities. Some have decided to remain in Ghana because there is nothing to return to in Liberia.

Tomorrow I Fly Away Back to Liberia

I am bracing myself for the next leg of my trip, back home to Liberia, a moment I have waited to see for so many years. The last time I was home was eight years ago, just for ten days to bury my mother who passed suddenly that year. But this was not a real return home to visit then. I saw everyone then in a cloud, in long lines before or after the funeral, during the traditional Mat times when my mother lay in state. Some of my siblings were far away in a refugee camp here or there and other family members were in hiding still. Tomorrow will be the first real return in nearly twenty years. I am bracing myself for this one. God is good to me. I will post more. My internet at the Afia Beach Club Hotel where we are staying is shutting down. But the ocean is just a few yards from my deck, and the sound of the rolling ocean reminds me I am almost home.


10 Responses to “Greetings from the Ocean City of Accra, Ghana: The Pan African Literary Forum in Ghana is Going Well Out Here”

  1. grandmaster masese Says:

    wow,thanks for putting this up.please send me more photos from Ghana and especially all PALF photos

  2. Janet19 Says:

    Super. It took almost a day to find this info. Thanks, great job. 🙂

  3. Althea Romeo-Mark Says:

    Hi again,

    I know that your stay in Liberia and Ghana were very inspiring. So I am looking forward to your next collection of poems whenever you are ready to give birth to it.

    althea romeo mark

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  6. Iropsyroums Says:

    energized hi and hello to all of you

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  9. Carlosjique Says:

    ?ABC of Academic Producing & ABC of Essays
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    Literary essays, like those of Charles Lamb have a very different style to the essay that students post for assessment. Lamb rambles, where you should be focused. Lamb’s introductions do not summarise his essays, yours should. Lamb is entertaining. Perfectly, I do not think you should be boring!
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    Other sorts of academic crafting
    I glimpse below at several of one other kinds of composing that students are asked for, and how they relate to essays.
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    advice on research advice on producing reports – dissertations – theses – propositions
    Summaries . Abstracts and Reviews are interrelated types of creating.
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    Appraise: Appear for qualities in something. You must be able to appraise something before it is possible to evaluate it, or criticise it within a scholarly way.
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    It is easier for most students to understand the idea of argument as either
    Their criticism (proper and bad points) for the author/s they are discussing.
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    Equally these sorts of argument have their destination, but the interpretative argument has the advantage that it emphasises the student’s discovery and demonstration of your reasonable thought kinds that author’s are by making use of. In the event the student has explored why the author holds his or her opinions, the student is inside of a position to consider the rational grounds for agreeing or disagreeing with the author.
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    Tutors use adjectives like primary. interesting, sophisticated and original to describe arguments in essays. An interesting argument in an essay isn’t really 1 that just happens to interest someone. It is 1 that’s a lot more than general . If, whenever you discover problems with your first of all (essential) arguments, you build up additional sophisticated ones to cope with the problems, the argument will become significantly more interesting . This will be reflected in each the argument statement and also demonstration. Your earliest draft of an argument statement will probably be a primary 1. This is undoubtedly an example from one particular student’s earliest draft: “I will argue that Aristotle’s stance about the family and slavery denied women and slaves any rights. Rousseau disagreed with Aristotle with respect to slaves, but his position with respect to women around the family is very similar to Aristotle’s”.
    After further reading or thought, however, this student came to the summary that Aristotle was not treating slaves and women in exactly the same way. Her argument needed to be refined (elaborated) or made greater sophisticated. This is her new argument: “I will argue that Aristotle sees both of those similarities and contrasts when he compares the relations of men and women in the family to the relations of master and slave. He says that equally relations are natural, but of different kinds. In contrast, Rousseau argues that slavery is not really natural and is against nature. However, he argues that the relations involving men and women are natural, and are according to nature”.
    A feature that markers glimpse for in initial class essays is originality. Originality does not just mean that the student is thinking for herself. Students be required to think for themselves to obtain any grade. Relating to the other hand, it is very unlikely to mean that the argument has never been made by anyone else. Originality is applied to an argument which is even extra interesting than interesting. “Some evidence of originality” could mean the student’s thinking about the issues and familiarity with the texts was reflected inside of a confident expression of ideas about them that related nicely to the primary resources. “Original” would likely involve these types of a thorough understanding in the principles within the theories discussed that the student employs them to think. It is analogous to learning a language. A superb speaker and writer inside of a foreign language may even now think in her private language, but a for starters class linguist would think, maybe even dream, within the foreign language.
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    Assert your arguments
    “I really feel the evidence shows that the family is truly a superior product for political society” could be a tentative, uncertain and insecure way of saying “I argue, from the evidence, that the family could be a superior product for political society”
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    Bibliography, References, and Harvard Structure
    A summary is often a final result, a judgement reached by reasoning. or the summing up of an essay. book or other piece of composing.
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    If your essay’s argument has actually been stated while in the introduction, your summary can then be just a brief summary of your main points. [Click for a (rather prolonged) example]. However, as you should now have summarised you main points added extensively from the introduction, you may not will need a summary. [Click for an example of an essay that has all of its reasonable summary and summary with the introduction.]
    Some people generate conclusions in which they return to the ponts made in their introduction. Clicking on these links will take you to definitely examples: Born by having a Broom – Beautiful Baby
    When you come across that your summary features important points not now fully covered, you should consider whether they have to have for example with the introduction, and demonstrating inside body. or omitting.
    Some people make a feature of making these a point in the conclusion of their essays. I think this is known as a mistake. A point for the stop that was not dealt with with the essay could be called a throw absent point . It is as if the writer is saying, “Before I leave, I will throw this point in for you to definitely think about. I leave you to definitely decide if it is important, or should have been thrown away”. If it can be an important point, it should have been dealt with inside the essay. As soon as you have an undigested point that may or may not be important, you should decide if you happen to have time to digest it and (either) include it while in the essay or discard it. If it is really an insubstantial, unimportant point, you will would like to discard it.
    A summary converted to an argument:
    This is the summary that a student made to summarise what she had discovered in creating her essay:
    “Aristotle’s stance within the family and slavery denied women and slaves any rights. Rousseau disagreed with Aristotle with respect to slaves, but his position with respect to women with the family is very similar to Aristotle’s. Olympe de Gauges has compared the similarities of oppression of both of those slaves and women, and emphasises the importance of giving women rights.”
    To convert this into an argument, holding her whole essay together, all she had to do was to insert “I will argue that” in the beginning and move the whole into her introduction.
    Competent indicates properly qualified to do a task. A competent essay demonstrates that you choose to are capable of doing the task that was established. These are the qualities (I suggest) of the competent essay:
    It must focus in the question
    It must give a clear, structured reply.
    The focus should be made clear on the and maintained throughout the essay.
    The structure will be revealed by a clear and accurate outline while in the introduction from the order in which you wrote about the issues.
    The essay should demonstrate a quality knowledge and understanding belonging to the subject
    Thought should be clear, sequential and coherent
    Evidence for what is alleged, mainly during the sort of superior referencing should be provided.

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