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Uche Nduka reads from Eel on Reef and Nine East

Uche Nduka, a native Nigerian and now a native New Yorker, was kind enough to come over to my place a few weeks ago to read from his two books of poems, Eel on Reef and Nine East. “Fool yourselves into wisdom,” Uche says, “flailing but still flying.

Not only does that describe the way I write, flailing but still flying (and it’s always a miracle, isn’t it?); I have to admit the more I read Uche’s poems the wiser I got, fooled in the work of preparing this post, creation out of chaos.

to us,
all words
are destinies.

Uche’s poems are very concise pared down to their essential lines of feeling and thought not a word unneeded and each exact. They’re easy to see.

a season trembles.
the sentience of a season
quivers inside water.

But Uche’s language is also versatile, abstract as well as concrete, given and sometimes left up to the imagination to understand and complete, full of discoveries. Uche’s voice is sonorous and melodic; it can lull you with beauty and startle you with a shock. It can fool you into wisdom when all you thought you were doing was having a little bit of fun.

my lines are birds flying
inside a page full of darts.

Uche Nduka, everyone.

1 copy

2 copy

8 copy

11 copy

Nine East

12 copy

15 copy

16 copy

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Eel on Reef is published by Black Goat. Check them out:


If you don’t happen to be near a bookstore, both of Uche’s books can be found on Amazon. The books are so beautifully designed, you can hang them on the wall for art.

One Comment

  1. Amiya Chatterjee

    I shivver listening to your poems Uche

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