Martin Egblewogbe currently lives in Accra, Ghana. He holds an MPhil in Physics and is starting a PhD while teaching at the University of Ghana.
For several years he hosted/produced the literary programme "Open Air Theatre" on Radio Univers in Accra, and organised "Just Imagine", a series of poetry recitals from 2003 - 2006. He has also participated in several public book readings in Accra.
Martin's writing has been featured in The Weekly Spectator and The Mirror, and his works can be found in a number of collections, including An Anthology of Contemporary Ghanaian Poems. He has won prizes for a number of short stories and spoken word performances.
Apart from Physics and writing, Martin is interested in Philosophy, Still Photography, and Computers (software, hardware).
Five Questions with Martin Egblewogbe:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I think I was writing what looked like poetry when I was eleven years old - this would be around 1986.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
Christopher Okigbo. He, more than any other poet, is the one to whose works I return over and over again. In addition, the works of Beckett and Kafka have always provided inspiration.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I must confess to primarily selfish motive - I write mainly to keep myself company, so to speak - and also, just to express myself. However, if other people come across my poetry and enjoy it, good.
4. You are the editor of The Ghanaian Book Review. What inspired you to start this project? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
The Ghanaian Book Review is an online portal for Ghanaian artists and writers. It will, when fully up to speed, feature a database of books published in Ghana, authored by Ghanaians, or concerning Ghana. I envisage a community of writers growing around this online resource, sharing their thoughts and their writing online.
I created the Ghanaian Book Review because I wanted Ghanaian writing to have a greater presence on the worldwide web, and to increase the online visibility of Ghanaian literary output. In addition, I thought it was a good way to break down the isolation of young Ghanaian writers.
5. The Ghanaian Book Review features a page on the poetry scene in Accra. Listing these events is a very important step in developing the city's poetry community. What do you think we need to see next in the development of poetry in Ghana?
A number of poetry recitals and poetry performance events have been organised in Accra, but many of them have petered out mainly due, I believe, to a lack of interest.
However, such public events are just what is needed. Unlike other forms of writing, people might have a difficulty connecting to written poetry, but readings and performance events bring the genre to life, making it more widely appreciated. Such events also allow for increased interaction between writers and readers.
Those who continue to organise such programmes must receive as much support as each of us can give.