Books & Rhymes: The Podcast

Sarah Ozo-Irabor takes you on a musical journey through the works of new and classic authors by inviting guests to pair books with songs or albums that spark the same emotional connection.

We take you on a musical journey through the works of new and classic authors by inviting guests to pair books with songs or albums that spark the same emotional connection. Accompanying playlists of songs for each episd

Culture Interlocutor: Kintu with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Season 3, Ep. 1
What power do editors have in steering a writer’s career? What are the real value of winning literary prizes such as the Kwani! manuscript project? What challenges do African writers encounter when attempting to publish literary fiction that exclude the white gaze?Our guest Jennifer Nansubuga Mamukbi, award winning author whose novels include Kintu (pronounced ChinTu), The First Woman (published as A Girl Is A Body of Water in the USA), and the short Story collection, Manchester Happened (published as Let’s Tell This Story Properly in the USA) situate Ugandan mythology in the fictional narrative of historical and contemporary Ugandan experiences.We use the music of Miriam Makeba, Queen, Eddy Kenzo, Tracy Chapman, Krizbeatz x Teni and more to explore Makumbi’s experience of being published, the real value of winning the Kwani! manuscript project & how it defined her writing career, why writers must to invest in good editors, and we also discuss her response to that introductory essay to the USA edition of Kintu.Listen to Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s curated playlist on Spotify, and Deezer.Follow @booksandrhymes on Twitter and Instagram to stay informed on the latest news on classic and contemporary books by writers of African descent. We would love it if you share your thoughts & tag us in your social media posts of this episode.The song you heard in the intro and outro of this podcast is titled: Reset by Meakoom (Meakoom) link to her music is available on BandcampJennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's Bibliography: -Kintu-Manchester Happened (Published as Let's Tell This Story Properly in the USA)-The First Woman - (Published as A Girl Is a Body of Water in the USA)Books discussed and referenced in this episode: -Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to The Sun – Sarah Ladipo Manyika-The Famished Road– Ben Okri-God's Bits of Wood - Sembene Ousmane-Lives of Great Men - Chike Frankie Edozien

Psychogeography: Poor with Caleb Femi

Season 2, Ep. 10
What is psychogeography? How does architecture affect our emotional, mental, and psychological wellbeing? Caleb Femi, a poet, educator, and multidisciplinary artist whose debut collection of poetry, Poor, celebrate and interrogate youth culture and masculinity, while the articulating the complex lived experiences of working class migrant communities in the UK join us in conversation. We use the music of Burna Boy, J-Hus, Wizkid, Giggs, Sunny Ade, and more to explore the problematic relationship between architecture and social stratification, the importance of finding and reading resonant poetry, the conversational between poetry and photography, and the philosophy that undergirds his work.**win signed copies** of Caleb Femi's debut collection of poetry, Poor, by subscribing to our mailing list here --> The winner will be selected from our list of subscribers and announced on Monday 16th of November.Listen to Caleb Femi’s curated playlist on Spotify, and Deezer. For more information on Caleb Femi’s work, follow him on twitter and Instagram.I am pleased to announce an international giveaway of two signed copies of Caleb Femi’s collection of poetry, Poor, in collaboration with Ed Public Relations. The giveaway ends on Monday 16th of November. For a chance to win one signed copy of the book, simply subscribe to the mailing list via link in the episode description. The winner will be seleted from our list of subscribers.For a chance to win the second signed copy, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @booksandrhymes, entry details will be posted.The song you heard in the intro and outro of this podcast is titled: Reset by Meakoom (Meakoom) link to her music is available on BandcampBooks discussed and referenced in this episode: -Citizen – Claudia Rankine-Salt – Nayyirah Waheed-The Light Song of Light – Kei Miller -Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth – Warsane Shire-Surge – Jay Bernard-The Perseverance – Raymond Antrobus-My Darling From the Lions – Rachel Long-Some Bright Elegance– Kayo Chingonyi

Bridging the Gap: The Deep Blue Between With Ayesha Harruna Attah

Season 2, Ep. 9
What do writers mean when they say they are ‘possessed’ by a character or a story? How much intuitive freedom does MFA courses offer writers, and hwat is it like to discover and translate a 3000 year old Hieroglyphic Egyptian love story? We discuss these and more with writer and researcher, Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of four books including the recently published novel, The Deep Blue Between -- a multi-directional migration story of a displaced set of twins in 1800s Ghana, and its predecessor, The Hundred Wells of Salaga.We use the music of Mayra Andrade, Les Nubian, Sampa The Great, Nina Simone, Salif Keita and so much more to discuss Ayesha Harruna Attah’s experience of being mentored by, and working closely with the literary giant, Ayi Kwei Armah, her experience of being published in Continental Africa and Europe, and other topics. For more information of Ayesha Harruna Attah’s work, visit to Ayesha’s curated playlist on Spotify, Deezer and YouTubeContinue the conversation by posting your thoughts on this episode on Twitter and Instagram by tagging us #BooksAndRhymesAyesha Harruna Attah’s bibliography-Saturday Shadows (Per Ankh Publisher)-Harmattan rain-The Hundred Wells of Salaga-The Deep Blue betweenBooks published as part of project that translates Hieroglyphics to multiple African languages:-Sanhat-Smi n skhty pn: Multilingual Translation of a 4000 year old African Love Story (also known as The eloquent peasant) translated by Ayi Kwei Armah, Ayeesha Harruna Attah et al.-Skhmkht Ea: On Love Sublime- A Multilingual Translation of an African Love Poem.-The instructions of PtahhotepBooks discussed and referenced in this episode: -One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez-Daughters of Africa – Margaret Busby-New Daughters of Africa – Margaret Busby-The Eloquence of the Scribes: A memoir on the sources and resources of African Literature - Ayi Kwei Armah-Two Sisters – Ama Ata Aidoo-Woman who runs with the wolves: Myth and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype – Clarissa Pinkola Estes-Bird by Bird – Anne...

Literary Romance: If I Don't Have You with Sareeta Domingo

Season 2, Ep. 8
We explore why romance genre is generally disregarded or overlooked by literary critics, the privileges of being published by a small independent press, and so much more with Sareeta Domingo, an accomplished author whose third novel, If I Don’t Have You, a love story between a Black British journalist and an Afro-Brazilian film-maker is published as part Jacaranda Books and Arts #Twentyin2020 project.We use the music of ESKA, Prince, Erykah Badu, Neneh Cherry and more to discuss her non-traditional route to publishing, crafting & writing romance stories as an act of resistance, writing ambitious Black women with care, Sareeta Domingo also share her experience for writers who are weighing the option of either the wish to be published by a small independent or an establishment publishing house. For more information of Sareeta’s work, visit Sareetadomingo.comListen Sareeta Domingo’s specially curated playlist for Books & Rhymes: The Podcast on Spotify and Deezer. Continue the conversation by posting your thoughts on this episode on Twitter and Instagram by tagging us @BooksAndRhymesTitles Authored or Edited by Sareeta Domingo-If I don’t Have you-Who’s Loving You-The Nearness of you-Love, Secret SantaTitles (and Poem) Referenced in the discussion:-The Ballad of J. Alfred Prufrock (a poem) – T. S. Elliott-The outsiders - SE Hinton-Beloved - Toni Morrison-Little fires everywhere – Celeste Ng-The sky is everywhere --Ordinary people – Diana Evans-My Sister The Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite-Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo-Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin-Behold The Dreamers – Mbolo Mbue-The Terrible- Yrsa Daley Ward-Simone is Still Single – Lisa Bent-Bad Love – Maame BlueRecommended Romance authors:-Alyssa Cole-Talia HibbertSongs Referenced in the discussion:-Gatekeeper – ESKA-The Ballad of Dorothy Parker – Prince-Love Has fallen on Me – Chaka Khan-The Nearness of You – Ella Fitgerald-If I Don’t Have You – Gregory Isaac-If I Don’t Have You (cover)– Sareeta Domingo-Who’s Loving You – Jackson 5-Orange Moon – Erykah...

Negotiating Sexuality: Black Sunday with Tola Rotimi Abraham

Season 2, Ep. 7
Do writers of African descent have the freedom to write whimsical and quirky stories? How can readers support the works of under-discussed writers during COVID-19 global pandemic?We discuss these topics and more with Tola Rotimi Abraham, whose debut novel, Black Sunday (a coming of age novel set in Lagos, Nigeria, which tells the story of a fractured family coming to terms with an unexpected loss) has been shortlisted for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. We use the music of Adekunle Gold, Teni The Entertainer, Shoma Madjozi and more to discuss consent in hyper-patriarchal societies, the inevitable emotional weight of (re)writing and editing traumatic scenes, & linguistic misnomers in the depiction of localised customs in literature published in the West. Listen Tola Abraham’s specially curated playlist Spotify, Deezer and YouTube. Listen to a playlist if sings curated by Tola Rotimi Abraham onSpotify, Deezer and YouTube.Continue the conversation by posting your thoughts on this episode on Twitter and Instagram by tagging us #BooksAndRhymesThe song you heard in the intro and outro of this podcast is titled: Reset by Meakoom (Meakoom) link to her music is available on BandcampPurchase Tola Rotimi Abraham’s unforgettable novel Black Sunday online and in your local bookstore.Authors & Books referenced:-We Need New Names -Noviolet Bulawayo-Helen Oyeyemi-Tade Thompson-Nnedi Okorafor-The Vanishing Half -Brit BennettSongs Referenced:-John Cena – Sho Madjozi-Surrender – Natalie Taylor-Ire – Adekunle Gold.-Teni – Uyo Meyo-Brown Skin Girl - Beyonce

Let Us Speak for ourselves: Things Fall Together with Muthoni Muiruri

Season 2, Ep. 6
What is Bookstagram and how is it shaping readers' engagement with books? What are the strategies for maintaining a healthy reading habit amidst COVID-19 pandemic? Is the term ‘African literature’ a form of self othering? We discuss these and more in today's episode with Muthoni Muiruri, a Kenyan researcher and literary activist.Muthoni is the founder, a blog where she promotes and reviews books by Continental and diaspora African writers. She is the co-founder of The African Review, and the recently launched Things Fall Together vodcast that explores the intersection between literature, life, culture and community. She hosts Bookish Pipo Book Club a monthly in-person book club based in Kenya. Follow Muthoni on Twitter and InstagramListen to playlist of the songs referenced in this episode on Spotify, Deezer and YouTubeTweet your thoughts on this episode by tagging us @BooksAndRhymesTag @booksandrhymes on InstagramBooks referenced:-Americanah - Chimamanda N Adichie RThings Fall Apart-No Longer At Ease – Chinua Achebe-Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe-The Concubine -Elechi Amadi-Efuru - Flora Nwapa-The DragonFly – Yvonne Adhianbo-We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawaiyo-What it Means When A man Falls from The Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah-The Secret Lives of baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin-Girl, Woman, Other -Bernardine Evaristo-Kintu – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi-The Havoc of Choice – Wanjiru KoinangeSongs Refernced:-Therapy – India.Arie-All Night - Beyoncé-Extravaganza – Sauti Sol-Read All About It – Emeli Sande-Africa – Yemi Alade ft. Sauti Sol-Emotional Rollercoaster – Vivian Green-What Now– Rihanna-Brown...