‘to grow in two bodies’ is an anthology published in 2019, which featured the work of mostly Ghanaian writers. Download and read the anthology.
When Jay Kophy, the brilliant mind that curated this collection, asked me to review it – I was beyond excited. Sure, it took me more than a minute to finish my review because, like all writers I know, I procrastinated till the ‘perfect’ time. But eventually I reviewed it. And one of my first
comments in the Twitter conversation that ensued was “This is great work! But it’s missing a foreword.” To which he replied “Yes. Actually, I was hoping you’d write that.”
And then the anxiety kicked in.
Google told me forewords are written by already published writers to introduce other writers. But how do you introduce someone when you’ve barely been introduced yourself? How do you do justice to this introduction, when the work you’re about to introduce left such a big impression on you that you read it every day for three days straight?
In my opinion, people generally skip the foreword of a book and head straight to the first page of the main deal. I, for one, love forewords. They tell you exactly how another writer views what you’re about to read. And, if there’s anyone whose opinion on the quality of the contents of a book
you can trust, it’s someone who writes for a living.
I write for a living. Which is why I ask you to trust me when I say ‘to grow in two bodies’ is a singular (because I’ve never seen anything like this) collection of poetry and short stories by African writers that focus on the angst of self-discovery along with other different, nuanced themes. This collection is important now, more than ever. It presents the hope that, as writers, our work will find homes; and not just float in the recesses of the internet, or stay hidden in whatever journal we choose to write in. Jay Kophy reached out to people who would have otherwise never considered being part of an anthology, and they in turn gave their best to satisfy our need to read something beautiful. And satisfy they did.
I hope this marks the beginning of more content from each writer. I’d love to see more anthologies from African writers that make me want to ask; “Hey, this is great stuff…do you want me to write a foreword for this?”
Because I think I’m getting the hang of this.