Book details

Publication date: March 2023
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Alienation; Migration; Citizenship; Belonging; Diaspora; Racial Justice; Social; Justice; Othering; Ecological; Devastation; Loneliness; Memory; Love; Kinship; Canada; Nigeria; Canadian; Poetry; Literature
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian / General, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Poetry, Black Studies, POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Places, POETRY / African, Modern and contemporary poetry (c 1900 onwards), Poetry by individual poets, Poetry, Black Authors and Authors of Colour, Canadian Literature, Alienation; Migration; Citizenship; Belonging; Diaspora; Racial Justice; Social; Justice; Othering; Ecological; Devastation; Loneliness; Memory; Love; Kinship; Canada; Nigeria; Canadian; Poetry; Literature, Canadian Literature / Poetry
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike. Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike is a Nigerian-born, Calgary-based poet, fiction writer, essayist, and literary journalist. He is the author of Double Wahala, Double Trouble; Wish Maker; and a co-editor of Wreaths for Wayfarers.

"In there's more, the reader is rhythmically lulled into coming face to face with the realities of a world that centers the voices of the global majority. Through the shapes and words that dance on the page, we become enchanted by an exquisite cadence that takes us into the psyches of the dehumanized and the disenfranchised." V Mason-John, author of I Am Still Your Negro

“It is not only the soulful agonies of lost home, intimacy, people, and places, not only (to paraphrase the poet) the noiseless arrival of nostalgia that leaves a shroud behind, not only the angst of living in the exile of one’s own desires, in a place of one’s own escape from the ruins of home. It is not only the haunts of the memories of times past and present. The poems of there’s more touch even more on the very thing of human social life: the character of experience.” Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba, author of The Postcolonial African Genocide Novel: Quests for Meaningfulness

"In these memory-infused poems, home vanishes and reappears with moving suddenness: "down the stairs/of clouds," in the expression on a beloved face, in parks, in songs, in the bones. This work sweeps our gazes across oceans, cultures, and years to explore how our shared human yearnings--for belonging, for connection--persist in the soul. With a full heart and keen inquiry, Umezurike finds tender language for the ineffable sting of departure, the ache of remembrance." Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia

"Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike’s there’s more plumbs the grace of memory, the music of routes through stairs and scarves, silences and stares. Here language laces and weaves through the small pains which build, the quiet graces which relieve. Stories shift from the museum to the land to our eyes; each an aching momentary tender glimpse where, behind the words, there’s more." Derek Beaulieu, Banff Poet Laureate

“Palpating the soundscapes of memory from his homeland, Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike finds Nigeria returning in the wind against a window. The sense-suffused language becomes the homeland. Memories enter the rooms of his poetry in skillfully articulated images. Whether writing about the military dictatorship that existed in the 1990s or mourning the devastation of the Niger delta by drilling, the poet refuses silence. Uniquely, Umezurike’s dissent coexists with extraordinary tonal tenderness, as in ‘The Old Way,’ one of the best poems about nostalgia I have read. Rupture, heartbreak, hope, and efflorescence co-exist in Umezurike’s unguarded lyrics. His brilliance disarms the mind.” Alina Stefanescu, author of Dor and Ribald

“Uchechukwu Umezurike in there’s more plumbs the depths of human emotions by creating poems that are touching, stunning, powerful, brilliant, tender, and heart-rending at the same time. In his hands, a poem which is often a small, discrete thing, becomes an entire universe of words—novels, songs, treatises, and quiet declarations of rage. The reading of each poem causes my breath to be stilled, and I sit in wonder, and let the beauty, luminescence, and subtle sadness from these words caress my heart. ‘Home is What the Tortoise Bears on Its Back,’ is an example of Uchechukwu’s mastery. In a few lines the author conjures up mythic tales from the time before time, middle passages, civil wars, migrations, gardens of Eden, love stories, exile, hard life, a kick-ass attitude, and a necessary resilience. In there’s more Uchechukwu reveals that he is a poet of first rank.” Afua Cooper, poet and author of Black Matters and The Halifax Explosion

“’What is home if it’s a river,’ asks Uche Peter Umezurike, in his astonishing new collection, there’s more. The superb poems that inhabit these enchanted pages display the immigrant experience in a manner that is simultaneously vast and yet introspective, where ’a poem about home is the mother struggling with the shell on her back.’ This is a colourful, creative treatise on juxtaposition and place, where ’the parade of pines’ and ’the way snow climbs down the stairs of clouds’ mingle seamlessly ’sharp and sweet as cloves’ with ’the gnarled cotton tree where memories of old fathers water the roots.’ This is a world where udara trees, ravens, mangoes, bones, snow, and kola nuts find kinship with each other. Umezurike tantalizes with a skilled poet’s turn of phrase that is ’precise like a smack.’ I am thrilled for this alluring and magnificent poetry collection.” Michael Fraser, author of The Day-Breakers

"Umezurike’s lyricism shines... These poems move between past and present and different cultures and worlds, capturing moments from childhood as well as current circumstances... Umezurike emphasizes that stories are a vital part of our present, rather than time capsules from the past." Manahil Bandukwala, Quill & Quire, April 3, 2023

#10 on the Calgary Nonfiction Bestsellers list, May 18, 2023

1. Home is what the tortoise bears on its back
2. The sea is the bridge
3. The sea grows its circle of stones
4. Wayfarer, you have seen again
5. The morning after the protest
6. On their evening walk through an alley
7. The woman hunches over her walker
8. The wind skulks at my window
9. Seagulls
10. The old way
11. Ahamefula
12. On slicing a mango one midday
13. Slush
14. Neighbours
15. Coyote down the valley
16. Tamarack Shade

17. The walk in May
18. Blooms in June
19. The park in July
20. Summer is gone

21. Bus stop
22. Origin
23. A word with an edge
24. Passerby (or, I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK!*)
25. Names

26. The language of guns
27. Family story
28. The drawing
29. Postcard from a war-torn village
30. Photos on Twitter
31. there’s more
32. Body of bones
33. In my father’s shoes

34. Kinship
35. University Station
36. At the food court in Southgate
37. Nomads
38. Guitarist on the landing

39. Humming Nina Simone on the train
40. Good love
41. Spilling
42. Compensation
ISBNs: 9781772126808 978-1-77212-680-8 Title: theres more ISBNs: 9781772127010 978-1-77212-701-0 Title: theres more ISBNs: 9781772127027 978-1-77212-702-7 Title: theres more