Nana Yeboaa is the pen name for Bernadette Poku. She is a spoken word artist and performance poet. Some of her poetry material have apperead in the Taj Mal anthology, T.dot griot: an anthology of toronto black story tellers.
Five Questions with Nana Yeboaa:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing poetry since the age of fifteen.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
I do respect the works of May Angelou, Efua Sutherland, Ayi-kwei Armah, and O'Bitpek. The works of the pre-colonial and post colonial poets have substance and gut that informs and moves me.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
As with my predecessors, I hope my poetry will inspire, inform and encourage people.
4. How often have you returned to Ghana? How long were you away between visits?
Since my ten years sojourning in Canada, I have been to Ghana three times in the last five years.
5. In your poem you write of Russia, the suburb of Accra. Many readers would not understand this reference, especially those not familiar with Ghana, and may think of 'Russia' as a very different, colder place in Europe. On the one hand this makes the poem richer and more cemented to the real world, on the other hand it alienates some readers. Why did you make this choice?
I do understand your point, but I think if you read the poem in totality it gives the reader the message that Russia is in Ghana and not Europe. Likewise, the use of the name Russia, although I do not know of how the place was named as such, is indicative of naming of places in the developing world after the parts of the developed world.