Author Profile - Etornam Agbodo


Etornam Adbodo was born premature in the Township of Agbozume in the Volta Region, two and a half months before time. He bets he was making a dash for it, never wanted anything slow. The year was 1974, the world was not well equipped for little hell-raisers like him, much the worse in Ghana. The doctor rightly said he had a very slim chance of making it but he did, and in fact has outlived that doctor. He schooled in Ghana and left for the UK just after his tertiary education. None of his school days were without incidence though. He is back in Ghana now and happy though he still goes back to the UK now and again to see family and friends.

Etornam's first ever complete published work, a compilation of poems entitled Verses of a Poet was published in the UK. He has written short stories and poems, with some making it into magazines and newspapers. Writing, for him, is a continual journey. The journey of his life, lights and sounds that he loves to share. He endeavors to live each day in a meaningful and even profitable way, though he might fail often. It is all part of the journey.

Five Questions with Etornam Adbodo:

1. How long have you been writing poetry?

I started my journey into the literary world in the good old days sitting in the sand and listening to my aunts and gran telling fables under the moonlight. I got so carried away by it that I started telling my own tales. I was fascinated they enjoyed these and kept asking where I heard them from, not suspecting I formulated them myself. Then there came a time when I just wanted to get long ideas and experiences written in short syllables. That is when I stumbled upon the poetry thing. That was back in the early nineties. I had some good audience I still hope they did not follow my writings because they were friends.

2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most informed and inspired your work?

I love poetry and indulge that whim so much. I have read alongside poets like Spicy Fingers in Birmingham and Mrs. Cooper at literary events. I love their works but for now if I should select favorites, I should go for the renowned Wole Soyinka and that eternal poet, Thomas Hardy. I must confess my list does not end there.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?

Poetry for me is the totality of my journey and experiences I wish to share. It is an effort to reach out and feel myself breathing and living.

4. You were a resident of the UK, but have moved back to Ghana. What inspired the move?

Moving back to Ghana was no easy choice. I had built stable family life and amassed good friends in the UK, but I still missed those little treasures I used to take for granted when I hadn't traveled. That social grace where everyone in the community knows your family by name, that sense of belonging which is more present in Ghana than in good old Britain where it was from work to the comforts of the heater in your house, and where your next door neighbor hardly knew your name. I could give a thousand and one reasons but permit me to say it in one established idiom: "Home Sweet Home".

5. Can you tell us a bit more about your novel, in case our readers might be interested in picking it up?

My recent novel is entitled The Dawn of Day. It is an attempt to confront modern day segregation that is rife, though like the proverbial ostrich we tend to hide our faces in the sand and pretend there is no danger until it creeps up on us. I have had to complete application forms and contend with the part where you have to state whether you are a black African, black British, Asian or Caucasian as if your race might determine your output. The novel tells of love's triumph over racial and social segregation. The statement "love conquers all" stands to test.

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