Author Profile - Bernard Kudjoe


Bernard Kudjoe lives in Wassa Akropong in the Western Region of Ghana. He received his education at Osei Tutu Senior High School in Kumasi and at the University for Development Studies. He currently manages a family business. His hobbies are reading, listening to music, and writing poems and short stories.

Five Questions with Bernard Kudjoe:

1. How long have you been writing poetry?

I started soon after I completed senior high school.

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

My favourite poets, locally, are Kwesi Brew and Kofi Awoonor. I also like Lenrie Peters in Gambia and William Wordsworth from England.

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

I want to be celebrated within and outside the country like other famous Ghanaian writers with my own collection of poems.

4. What did you think of poetry when you were attending Osei Tutu Senior High School in Kumasi? Was there any poetry activity that happened on campus, and were you involved in it?

To be frank with you, there was nothing of that sort on campus, no poetry activities and nobody was even interested in reading your writings. In fact I was compelled to offer science at the beginning in school; a family tradition, and I under-performed. So I switched and offered pure literature as part of my electives because I knew inside me that I desired to write poems of my own.

5. My favorurite line in "Led into Slaughter" is "Our featherless bodies rainwater" - a fresh, surprising line made intense by the presence of the volcano in the preceding line. I'm wondering when in the process of writing this poem did that line/image come to you - was it in the poem from the beginning, or did it come to you later in composition?

Wow, it's great that you like that. That line came to me later in the composition. I needed words to create more emphasis on how hot the sun was shining on their bare bodies and how profusely they were sweating as they work on the field and there, it just came. I considered it for sometime and found it fit where it is now.

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