On #GhanaLit Chat with Nii Ayikwei Parkes

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. )


On Language

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.



  1. Thanks for this wrap-up. There really was so many topics discussed and it was so interesting and exciting to follow along at least for the little bit that I could. Thank you again for organizing and I look forward both to reading the book (after the chat I just *had* to purchase it on Kindle!) and to seeing what comes next with Ghanaian Literature Week in the future. Also, hopefully by next year Parkes will have another book out and we can repeat the chat 😉

    Thanks again Kinna, for all the work you put into the week! Much appreciated!


    • Yeah, quite a varied group of people joined the chat. The power of the written word. It was heartening to see many young Ghanaians tweeting!


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