The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Editorial/ Editorial

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present our 24th and very special West African edition of The Ofi Press, our first ever special edition dedicated to promoting new connections and cross cultural ties between Mexico, West Africa and beyond.

The idea for this link up came through a project I participate in called The Conversations Across Borders Project ran by Jordan Hartt in the USA where poets around the world are paired up to create collaborate work based on a theme. My first collaborator was DK Osei-Naw, a spoken word artist from Ghana who sparked a keen interest on my part in poetry in the region. When I came across Bakwa Magazine, Cameroon I was very excited submit and share my work and over the moon when editor Dzekashu Macviban agreed to collaborate in this project, The Ofi by promoting West African poets in Mexico by having their work translated into English and Bakwa promoting young Mexican writers in his region, having their work translated into English. I hope you’ll be able to see the special Mexican edition of Bakwa available now at: http://bakwamagazine.wordpress.com/

Here at the Ofi you can read work from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cameroon brining together the finest poetry from established and emerging poets from the region. It is with a huge amount of pride I publish this edition and I wish to thank all of the collaborators, translators, artists and writers who made this possible.

During the past month we hosted our fourteenth monthly poetry get-together here in D.F with over twenty-five people in attendance including visitors from the U.K., the United States, Sweden and Mexico. We even hosted our first SLAM poet on the night. Impressive stuff!

I have said this before but the most pleasurable part of editing this magazine is reading all of the submissions and meeting such wonderful writers and people. Thank you.

It has been a wonderful two years editing The Ofi Press. I look forward to many more years of growth and the development of new friendships and connections.

I hope you enjoy this month's reading and as ever, if you have any questions or comments, please contact us at: [email protected], follow us on twitter @theofipress or find us on facebook at “Ofi Press Mexico”.

Un abrazo a todos!

Jack- Editor

Queridos lectores,

Estoy encantado de presentarles nuestro muy especial vigésimo cuarto numero de The Ofi Press: Oeste de África, nuestra primera edición enfocada únicamente a promover nuevos lazos culturales entre México, África del Oeste y mas.

La idea para este nuevo enlace surgió a través de un proyecto en el cual participo llamado Conversations Across Borders, dirigido por Jordan Hartt en los Estados Unidos, donde poetas al rededor del mundo hacen pareja para escribir colaborativamente sobre algun tema en específico. Mi primer colaborador fue DK Osei Naw un “spoken word artist”, quien expreso su gran interés por  la poesía del oeste de África. Cuando  encontré  la revista Bakwa (Camerún) estaba muy emocionado al poder enviar y compartir mi trabajo y súper feliz cuando el editor Dzekashu Mcviban aceptó colaborar con este proyecto; The Ofi Press al promover escritores del Oeste de África y tener sus poemas traducidos en Ingles y la revista Bakwa haciendo lo mismo en África. Dicha edición especial de The Ofi esta disponible en: http://bakwamagazine.wordpress.com/

Aquí en The Ofi, podrás leer el trabajo de varios escritores de Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana y Camerún, quienes traen para nosotros la major poesía de tanto consolidados como emergentes poetas de la región, Es con un enorme orgullo que publicamos este Numero y aprovecho la oportunidad para agradecer a todos los que colaboraron en este proyecto; escritores, traductores y artistas, quienes hicieron posible esta especial edición.

El mes pasado vio nuestro decima cuarta reunión de poesía en el corazón del D.F., con invitados del Reino Unido, Suecia, Estados Unidos y mas. Por vez primera contamos con un “Slam Poet”; ¡impresionante trabajo!

Como ya lo he dicho antes, lo mas placentero de editar esta revista, es poder leer y conocer a tanta gente tan sorprendente y talentosa, ¡gracias!

Han sido 2 maravillosos años de editar esta revista y espero con ansias ver crecer nuestra revista y seguir estrechando nuevos lazos de amistad y trabajo colaborativo.

Espero que disfruten al leer este número y como siempre, si tienen alguna duda o comentario, por favor, contáctenos en [email protected], en twitter en @theofipress o búscanos en Facebook: OfiPressMexico

Un abrazo,

 Jack—Editor.

Poem of the Month

IN THE SMALL HOURS

By Wole Soyinka

Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke
Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze,
Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes,
Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers
Comb seaweed hair, stroke acquamarine veins
Of marooned mariners, captives
Of Circe's sultry notes. The barman
Dispenses igneous potions ?
Somnabulist, the band plays on.


Cocktail mixer, silvery fish
Dances for limpet clients.
Applause is steeped in lassitude,
Tangled in webs of lovers' whispers
And artful eyelash of the androgynous.
The hovering notes caress the night
Mellowed deep indigo ?still they play.


Departures linger. Absences do not
Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze
As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,
Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn
The notes hold sway, smoky
Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.


This music's plaint forgives, redeems
The deafness of the world. Night turns
Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats
The broken silence of the heart.

 

Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Soyinka (born 13 July 1934) is a Nigerian writer, notable especially as a playwright and poet; he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first person in Africa and the diaspora to be so honoured.

 

Ofi Press Poetry Night, November 2012

This month we had a small gathering of poets including many familiar faces as well as some new ones reading from various different styles of work. It is a special time at 25 Celaya right now as the building is now home to Under the Volcano Bookstore owned by Grant Cogswell. You can find out more here: http://www.http//underthevolcanobooks.com/

Join us at the usual place, the usual time on Wednesday December 12th. Email us for more info.