How to win?
Read the current publications on the SprinNG website for October 2021.
Write a comment on 2 or more of the publications posted on the website for October 2021.
Please add your name and email address when filling the comment box.
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See the guide to providing good feedback below.
TIPS FOR WRITING GOOD FEEDBACK
The goal of providing feedback is:
1. to invite another reader into the world of beauty you have seen in a work
2. to provide a very brief summary of what you read
3. to give your interpretation/perspective of what has been written
4. to provide suggestions for improvement
We encourage that your comment meets at least 2 of these goals.
The SprinNG team will evaluate the comments and select the winner of the bookstore giftcard at the end of the month.
Note: Comment on the poems, book reviews, articles, interviews, and guest posts.
By Maryam Sa’eed Otuh
Today, mother whispered, “I am tired” with her head resting on her pillow, her right arm flung carelessly across the bed as she stared at the bland patterns on the white-painted ceilings.
She didn’t complain about the brown patches forming on the areas where it leaked. Or about the cobwebs we failed to clean yesterday.
Father came home angry. He grumbled about his tasteless food and yelled for clean water to wash his hands.
Then, he stormed out, ignoring mother’s tears as they fell on the cold untiled floor, on her old blue wrapper, and in her palms.
She tried to hold them in; she squeezed her eyes shut, breathed in deeply. But her eyes had become weak. The tears fell heavily, leaking from the sides and then all over. They were pouring, like our roof, during the rainy season.
By Maryam Sa’eed Otuh
Here is where our story ends;
In the lost pages of history,
Because I told them they shouldn’t have stayed.
Maybe the boy with the toothy grin would have survived that day.
They had flags for armour instead of bulletproof vests.
No one told them they were going to war.
Their voices were raised high in solidarity until they cracked,
Like scratched disks in a rustic DVD player.
I no longer know how to love something that finds new ways to break me apart.
I have picked pieces of myself from muddy waters.
I, too, am tired,
I, too, am angry,
But I told them that the pain is less intense for those who decide to stay broken.
Maybe if they listened, we wouldn’t be bleeding still.
By Maryam Sa’eed Otuh
Here is where our story begins;
Knees scrapping ground, hands clearing the path.
We are rising from the ashes of our heroes past,
Lost in the ocean of generations that put their wrists forward
even as the rope cut through skin and drew blood.
We swam from the middle of the sea
Our tears have mixed with the salt that surrounds us,
We reach the shore still.
This is where we begin to rebuild.
Wood, axes, nails, and hammers,
Ink and paper too.
No nation survives on lost history
Our past heroes may not have laboured enough
If the voices of those who dared to speak were swallowed and silenced.
But hope will rise from fear,
And courage will find a new home.
Ink touches paper,
Paper catches fire.
This is how we start to rebuild,
From the ashes of our heroes' past.
Here is where our story begins.
Roseline Mgbodichinma Interviewed by Adedolapo Lawal
Roseline Mgbodichinma is a Nigerian writer, poet, and blogger passionate about documenting women's stories. She is currently pursuing a law degree and actively freelancing.
She is a contributing Fiction Editor for Barren Magazine, a Nairobi fiction writing workshop (NF2W) scholarship recipient, and a SprinNG Writing and Advancement Fellowship alumna. She won the Audience Favourite Award for the Okadabooks and union bank campus writing challenge. In addition, she is the third prize winner for the PIN food poetry contest.
Her work has been published on Isele, Native Skin, Down River Road, Amplify, JFA human rights mag, Blue marble Review, Kalahari Review, Indianapolis Review, the hellebore, and elsewhere. You can reach her on her blog at www.mgbodichi.com, where she writes about art, issues, and lifestyle.
It is not strange that despite being a brilliant writer, you are exploring something different academically. You are pursuing a law degree.
Where did the interest in law come from? When did your writing journey start? Does your interest in law compliment or influence your creative pursuits?
I would like to say that I was one of those people who in the early stages were passionate about fixing the justice system in my country and that was what sparked my interest in law, but this only came later. I chose to study law because I was in a debate club in secondary school. This premise somehow meant I would make a good lawyer, or at least that was what I was encouraged to believe, so you can imagine my shock when I got into university and found out it was way more demanding than merely making arguments. However, I am getting the hang of it now and will soon, shockingly, become a lawyer.
I started writing in primary school, but it was not until I got into secondary school that I realized how passionate I was about storytelling. This was the period I kept a diary and wrote everything from stories, to poetry, to random quotes. I honestly believed I was the next best thing after Chimamanda Adichie that year. I have since returned to those pieces and promised myself and the world that they will not see the light of day.
I do not think my interest in law influences my creative pursuit; they are two separate parts of my life I am developing independently. If anything, it only makes me aware of my rights and chances. Still, in terms of complimenting my creative pursuits, I am interested in intellectual property law, Primarily the aspect that protects literary works from Copyright infringement, so I guess there is an aspect of literature in law and law in literature.
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