Akor Oplauwah is proof that you can be an academic researcher and wear as many other hats as you please. He is a published poet.
What is your book about?
It’s a poetry book where I share random ideas about different things I have seen around.
It’s a relatively easy read.
I tried out a new form where the titles are very long but the poems are short.
Is your poetry linked to your research …?
My poetry and research have, till now, stayed seperate.
My research area is in Development Policy.
However, I think being an academic has had an influence on my brand of poetry.
That’s interesting…how so?
Primarily, being an academic has made me think a lot more about things and speak a lot less.
I’m a keen observer of my environment, introspective – and it’s a skill I feel I’ve honed in my academic life. I observe things around me and think about them.
How did you get started writing poetry?
I wrote in secondary school and in university as an undergraduate for a bit but wasn’t too serious about it.
Then in 2015, a friend, Yinka, said we should do a 30-day writing challenge. And so I started and just didn’t stop since then.
What direction are you headed — writer or an academic researcher?
I want to keep writing both academic and artistic texts.
I have been able to combine them in a weird way.
I have been writing poetry daily for the past 2.5 years. And I think I have learned the art of consistency …. in writing poetry daily.
(Checks his watch) I will soon sit down and write today’s poems.
What is this new form of poetry you’ve tried out?
It’s in how the poem is structured.
I haven’t named the form or I don’t know if it already exists and there is a name for it.
The rules are that the title has to be long and very detailed. They must be physically observed things, therefore descriptive.
The body of the poem should be short and introspective, that is, one’s feeling towards the description.
Akor, what can your reader expect to take away from your book?
Someone said that the book is unapologetically mine, and it doesn’t try to be pretentious or arty.
Someone else described it as showing the world through my perspective.
I think it will challenge the reader to look at seemingly inconsequential things a little more intently.
Nothing is really mundane.
Akor Opaluwah is a researcher in international development with the Nottingham Trent University school of Arts and Humanities.
He holds a Bachelors degree in computer from Covenant University, Nigeria and a Subsequent Master is Arts degree in Branding and Identity design from Nottingham Trent University.
His current research focuses on the current reasons for the slow and sometimes ineffectiveness of development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria.
Akor Opaluwah is also a professional Photographer, Graphic designer and Enthusiastic writer.
You can follow AkorOpaluwah on Instagram.
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