Tijan M. Sallah, the celebrated Gambian poet, returns with this new collection, I Come from a Country. This time his concern is his country of birth-how it has changed or remained the same, and how the poet himself has changed. This collection also meanders into the poet's encounter with nature, and his travels to other places, including China, Philippines and Bangladesh. Lastly, the poet reflects on the challenges of mid-life and of growing old, including remembrances of literary personalities, his friends Lenrie Peters, Nadine Gordimer, and Chinua Achebe, who have succumbed to the grim reaper. This is a remarkable collection, conversational in style and daring in its range and ambition.
"The world continues to be a poor place. There is, however, a richness that can be found in the poetry of Tijan M. Sallah from Gambia, a small African nation. Sallah continues to honor us with his writings and humility. He has had a stellar literary career. In this new book of poems, he moves towards embracing his role as elder. His words slice open fruits of wisdom--at times the work is filled with disappointment and anger; a dislike for political corruption. He refuses to write love poems for dictators. Sallah's heart is open with remembrance, and so there are elegies with flowers in this book. It is a true poet that undertakes this long journey with language as a companion. Sallah's moral compass is our guiding star. Sallah writes about home after traveling around the world. He offers love without apology. There is brightness in this book."
--E. Ethelbert Miller, Poet/Writer, and Winner of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and O.C. Mayor Art Award for Literature
"Blessed is the country where everyone knows your name, writes Tijan M. Sallah, and his poems invite us to such a country, a country that is both particular yet universal. His poems range in a broad sweep from local minutiae to the politics of the airborne. They speak directly about the hopes and despairs not just of Africa and its people, but of people everywhere. His imagination perceives the transformations inherent in daily experience. He is clearly an important poet.
--George Szirtes, Poet/Writer, and Winner of T.S. Eliot Prize and James Tait Black Prize
"I might speak at length of the enjoyment and wisdom I found in Tijan M.
Sal la h's poems. His poems express different feelings held in steady focus by an unrelenting sense of purpose. Many poetry volumes glow with light; I Come From a Country is a beacon.
--Fred Chappell, Poet/Writer, Winner of the Bollingen Prize and T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing
Trim Size: 5.5 X 8.5"
Publication Date: 2021