Yewande Akinse (Adebowale) is a gifted storyteller, Poet and Author of two collections of Poetry titled ‘A Tale of being, of green and of ing..’ (2019) and Voices: A collection of poems that tell stories’ (2016). With over 110 published poems to her credit and counting, Yewande is one poet who doggedly seeks to change the narrative one poem at a time. Unafraid to delve into the depths of the intense, she delivers effortlessly with poise and grace by leveraging on the power of the written and spoken word in equal measure for her tongue is like the pen of a skilful poet. She renders in lines and verses rhythmic poetry that inspires, soothes and heightens all five senses with multidimensional effect. Her style of writing is simple and her delivery is clear at all times without compromising quality. Whether she is performing or writing, one thing is always certain, she infuses soul into her craft, making the words come alive.
Her debut collection of 44 poems, described as “a multifaceted and vibrant discussion; deep and wide-ranging. It sophisticatedly assembles the seeds of these conversations together through its concise but productive and well-appointed pieces of poetry”. Written in various styles – from free verse to an observance of the conventional rhyme scheme – this is a work true to form and to the distinct nature of the poet exuding imagery and power, colour and contrast, beauty and pain. We follow the poet’s expedition to finding her own voice somewhere within the tangle of the voices of others through the ancient art of storytelling. These are tales of life – some glamorous and not so glamorous facets of existence – bordering on diverse topics in bits and pieces in one ensemble. The poet writes both in English and Yoruba language in this collection owing to her bilingual tongue and native heritage.
Her second collection of 63 poems divided into three parts delves into the “historical, spiritual and philosophical realms” of being – as a beginning that will know no end with all of its physical and spiritual connotations. Is death the end? A consolation for those who grieve – in the first part then proceeds to explore the connotations of being from the Poet’s viewpoint in the second part – a Nigerian-African perspective – replete with its frustrations and joys. In the final part, the poet lingers on nature – asking the question, can our being survive without the green? – and the self-revolving forces of night and day, times and seasons and some more. The poet reveals tendencies of a nature poet exploring green and landscape in lines and verses. In her second book, the poet seeks to identify the things that will subsist even when all falls away. Knowing the ephemeral nature of things, the poet seeks to find answers from a realm that will never fade away.
Her poems have appeared in Visual Verse, Afritondo, Trampset, Galleyway, Lumiere Review and elsewhere. Her works carve a niche of poetic storytelling assuming a prose-like form of creative expression, inspired by the realities of life and living in a poetic and philosophical fashion. Her words paint pictures on the canvas of the mind, bold and without apology, confronting the status quo headlong. She writes on a variety of topics that cover but is not limited to politics, mental health, female genital mutilation, rape, trauma, death, hope, nature and more.
Writing for Yewande is just as important as breathing, it has always been her safe place, in her words, “a panacea in distress, a medium of self-purgation and a harbour in the midst of turbulence”. She hopes to share her poetry with all – both far and nearby documenting her daily experiences through the poetic arts. It is safe to say that Yewande has finally found her voice and some meaning to her existence. She won the World Bank YouthActonEDU spoken word prize and Project Knucklehead Prize for Creative Rebellion.
Her poems have won numerous awards, among which are The Guardian Newspaper poetry prize, the Fidelity Bank prize for creative writing, the World Bank YouthActonEDU spoken word prize, Project Knucklehead Prize for Creative Rebellion, among others.
Visual verse: https://visualverse.org/writers/yewande-adebowale/
Lumiere Review: https://lumierereview.com/yewande-adebowale