I organised a Twitter chat, with the Ghanaian poet and novelist Nii Ayikwei Parkes, as part of Ghanaian Literature Week. We chatted, using the hashtag #GhanaLit, from 8pm GMT to 9:15pm. About 35 people actively participated by sending tweets. Perhaps countless more just read the timeline.
I thank Nii Ayikwei Parkes for graciously agreeing to be questioned. And I thank all those who participated. I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Frankly, it was quite exciting!
I present, below, some of Parkes’ responses (his twitter handle is @BlueBirdTail)
(Please note: those of you who receive my posts as email updates will have to click on the link and come to the blog to see the replicated tweets. )
Language is a big issue for Parkes. This is evident in Tail of a Blue Bird, his first novel. In response to questions on language, he tweeted the following:
In response to question of the reaction of non-Twi speakers to the book:
A question on the source of the inspiration of the village of Sonokrom led us back to language:
On writing about the police and on the backstory or inspiration for Tail of a Blue Bird:
On conflict conflict between Yaw Poku’s (traditional) and Kayo’s (modern) worlds
On the lack of concrete resolution to the ‘murder’ or ‘devolution’ in Tail of a Blue Bird:
On His Writing
In response to question on writing so much material for This is not a Love Poem and how he avoided repetition
On research for his books:
On writing different forms of fiction:
On the writing style and different POVs in Tail of a Blue Bird:
On the African writing scene:
What is he working on:
Finally, on the twitter chat:
Twitter is limiting when there is a lot to be said. But, in this case, @BlueBirdTail did superbly in utilizing his 140 character limit.
I think I’ve gone from zero to hero in Social Media :).
There will be more #GhanaLit chats in 2012.