ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2018
The Future Has an Appointment with the Dawn
By (author) Tanella Boni; Translated by Todd Fredson; Introduction by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Tanella Boni is a major African poet, and this book, The Future Has an Appointment with the Dawn, is her first full collection to be translated into English. These poems wrestle with the ethnic violence and civil war that dominated life in West Africa’s Ivory Coast in the first decade of the new millennium. Boni maps these events onto a mythic topography where people live among their ancestors and are subject to the whims of the powerful, who are at once magical and all too petty. The elements-the sun, the wind, the water-are animated as independent forces, beyond simile or metaphor. Words, too, are elemental, and the poet is present in the landscape-“during these times / I searched for the letters / for the perfect word.” Boni affirms her desire for hope in the face of ethno-cultural and state violence although she acknowledges that desiring to hope and hoping are not the same.
Tanella Boni is an Ivorian poet, novelist, and professor of philosophy at the University Felix Houphouet-Boigny, formerly the University of Abidjan (Cocody). She has published numerous critical and literary works in French and won many literary awards, including the 2009 Antonio Viccaro International Poetry Prize from UNESCO for her body of work. Todd Fredson is the author of the poetry collections The Crucifix-Blocks and Century Worm and has translated two poetry collections by Josue Guebo, including Think of Lampedusa (Nebraska, 2017). Honoree Fanonne Jeffers is a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma and the author of The Gospel of Barbecue.