Author Profile - Kyilleh Dominic Arituo


Kyilleh Dominic Arituo was born in Fielmua, Sissala West District in the Upper West Region. After his Senior Secondary education at Lawra, he went to live with his uncle in Buoho, Kumasi. During his stay in Kumasi, he became a Seventh-Day Adventist which his uncle did not approve.

He left Kumasi to Kwahu North in the Eastern Region. In July 2006, he was employed by the Kwahu North District Assembly as the Steward of the Presidential Lodge. Nearly two years without friends and relatives, he became very lonely and at that time he turned to poetry reading for words and comfort. By the close of 2008, he made his first appearance in the Writers Page Gh/Daily Graphic and continued till 2010. Also, he has had many of his poems published in The Mirror and online.

He is currently enrolled in B.A. Studies at Valley View University.

Five Questions with Kyilleh Dominic Arituo:

1. How long have you been writing poetry?

I started writing poetry in late 2008. Before this time, I used not to like poetry due to its subtlety. However, depressed in early 2008 I wanted to see which group of people shares my experience, and the answer was the poets. I tend to read the poetry of poets whose poetry came as a result of loneliness and struggle. My debut poems were published in December 2008. Because I am not a trained poet, to see how qualified my poems were to be called "poems" I submitted them to the Writers Page/Daily Graphic for publication. Whatever wasn’t published, I considered not poetry.

2. Who are your favorite poets? Which poets have most influenced and informed your work?

I was first attracted to the Negritude and Harlem poets, but I realized I started hating everything Western until I was delivered by a book I discovered in the library entitled African Writers Talking edited by Dennis Duerden and Cosmo Pieterse. It pointed out the new phase of African literature and what the African writer should write about. Another book I discovered in the library that deepened my poetry was “Sound & Sense” edited by Lawrence Perrine. The following are a few of my favorite poets, Dennis Brutus, Kofi Awoonor, Gabriel Okara, Kwasi Brew, John Milton, A. E. Housman, William Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, Wilfred Owen, Emily Dickinson, Andrews Marvell, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Alexander Pope, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, etc.

I am a self-taught poet and I draw my inspiration from my experience, the biographies of poets, commentaries on poems, the Bible, mythology, dreams, etc.

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

I write poetry to calm down my mood or to comfort myself on issues that concern me and my continent that I have no control over. I am like that servant barber who saw his master’s ass’s ears and could not keep it to himself but to whisper into the hole he dug in the ground that Midas has ass’s ears, and nature broadcasted the king’s secret. I am a citizen of a developing country, and it is my dream to see Ghana become developed. My poems are my dreams, if heeded, become my contribution to the nation’s development.

4. You've lived in both Kumasi and Accra, and so have experienced the places where Ghana is urbanizing most rapidly. How have you felt about living in these cities? How has it compared to your upbringing in the Upper West Region?

I love Kumasi and Accra. It is an exciting journey visiting either of these cities for the first time. Because of the daily economic activities and the availability of social amenities, it is satisfying to live there. However, these thrills didn’t last forever. They faded away when I began facing the reality of life that is not peculiar with living in the rural Upper West Region e.g. unemployment, housing problems and the slums that mar the beauty of these cities. I happened to grow up in Wa, the capital of the region, and I used to think I grew up in a city but now I know how rural Wa is, because there are a lot of things you have to go to either Kumasi or Accra to access. That is why many from the region, who have been urbanized prefer to settle in one of these cities or in their vicinities.

5. If all of Ghana becomes urbanized and modernized (as is the growing trend) what do you think will be gained? What will be lost?

If all of Ghana becomes urbanized and modernized there will be growth in industry, trade and commerce, and the availability of social facilities, and the pressure on Kumasi and Accra will decrease. People will stop moving from one part of the country to these two cities in search of greener pastures. There will be high literacy rate and superstition and gullibility often fond of rural dwellers will be lost to rationality, which will contribute positively toward national
well-being. There will be development in science and culture which will attract both Ghanaians and foreigners.

On the other hand, there will be pressure on the land and the available social amenities. The nation will lose its forest reserves and farmlands due to the increase in construction activities. Some aspect of our culture will be lost
when modernized. The simplicity of life found in rural dwelling will be lost to a complex one with increase in criminal activities, unemployment, and corruption, population, and pollution and health hazards.

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