Ekow was born in Cape Coast in April, 1957. Both of his parents were teachers. He received his secondary education at Mfantsipim School and went on to the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated in English and Classics (B.A. Hons) in July 1981. He is now a civil servant and holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Administration as well as a Masters in Business Administration. His passions include sports, history, international politics and the creative arts.
Five Questions with Ekow Yankey:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been scribbling down thoughts, impressions and experiences in verse form since age 15, but I started paying attention to my evolution as an artist at around 20, when I was a student at the University of Ghana, Legon. I must also add that I have generally done a lousy job keeping my writings together. This is the reasons why I find your website very interesting.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
To be frank, I have come under several influences. I continue to enjoy the work of poets from around the world. Nonetheless, I have some favourites such as John Donne, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, etc. (i.e. the so-called English Romantic poets), Dylan Thomas, Dennis Brutus, Kofi Awoonor, Kobena Eyi Acquah, Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Leopold Senghor and others.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
It is my aim to explore new horizons as far as literature in Ghana and Africa generally is concerned. My evolving social consciousness is also a very significant driving factor these days. As a member of the privileged elite - by virtue of my education - I think I should invigorate and enrich the debate on the situation facing us as a people struggling to be recognized and accepted as equals by the rest of the world community.
4. What is your opinion on the state of African poetry today?
African poetry is still flourishing, in spite of the demoralizing state of affairs on the continent, especially the steady debasement of our society through the uncritical acceptance of everything foreign without paying sufficient attention to our own values. Worse still, the remarkable creativity of our emerging poets is not receiving due recognition due to the state of the African publishing industry.
5. With whom do you generally share your poetry? Do you work with any other poets to help improve your writing?
Though I have shared a few of the pieces I have written with a number of personal friends from time to time, mostly it’s been a solitary effort. I have no links with any other poets. This is the first time I am venturing out, so to speak.