Nana Awere Damoah is a Chemical Engineer with an MSc in Chemical Engineering from University of Nottingham, UK and a first degree in Chemical Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. A British Chevening award alumnus, Nana is currently working with Unilever Ghana as the Production Manager for Foods. His short stories have been published both in the 'Mirror' and 'Spectator' and his poems in magazines on KNUST campus. His work won the 1997 Step Magazine story writing competition. "Excursions in my Mind", Nana's first book of reflective essays and poems, published by Athena Press (London) is now out, and is available through Amazon. His hobbies are reading, writing and watching movies.
Five Questions with Nana Damoah:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem 'Prayer - Lift, Lay, Leave' (about prayer) in 1992. Many more have followed, within the past 16 years. PS: See www.patmoscollections.blogspot.com for my compilation.
2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most influenced and informed your work?
My favorite poet is King David, and I have studied his Psalms for style and content. Rudyard Kipling has also influenced me lately.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
With my poetry, I hope to challenge believers unto worship and onto living by grace. I also seek to instigate thought and provoke reflections. Finally, through my work as an African writer who is in a technical field (a Chemical Engineer), it is my wish that through my works I can inspire our youth to think outside the box and not let their reach be bounded by their training, to realise that talents cannot be tamed and should be utilised for the general good of mankind.
4. Could you tell us more about the publication opportunities on the KNUST campus? Are these still available to writers?
I have been out of campus for nine years now. In my time on campus, there were avenues to publish on hall and departmental notice boards, and in church and para-christian magazines. Publications were few and far in-between.
5. How has the experience getting published in newspapers like 'Mirror' gone for you? Did you find paper readers receptive to your work?
My first story in the 'Mirror' was in 1995 and it gave me a massive boost. I must say that being an author of my first book now derives from that start. It was the first proof that my works were good enough to be published. Before this time, I had written lots of scripts - poems, short stories, essays - that I had never bothered to publish. Being recognised as a story teller encouraged me to extend to other areas of both poetry and prose.
Readers were very receptive and my current story in the 'Mirror, which ran for three consecutive weeks in June 2008 received good reviews from my friends and others.