Jide Salawu: Canadian Publisher Acquires Nigerian Author's Poetry Book ‘Contraband Bodies’

Jide Salawu: Canadian Publisher Acquires Nigerian Author's Poetry Book ‘Contraband Bodies’

  • Jide Salawu, a Nigerian author and PhD student at the University of Alberta in Canada, has secured a book deal with NeWest Press Canada for his debut full-length work, "Contraband Bodies"
  • The book, described as an elegy to Nigeria and the diasporic experience, is set to be published in Fall 2025
  • Salawu, who has previously published his work in local and international journals, said poetry provides an avenue to express his emotions and ideas in a way that resonates deeply with the public

Legit.ng journalist Nurudeen Lawal has years of experience covering basic and tertiary education in Nigeria

Edmonton, Canada - Jide Salawu's debut full-length work, "Contraband Bodies", has been acquired by NeWest Press Canada.

Salawu is a Nigerian author and PhD student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

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Salawu Jide/Poetry Book ‘Contraband Bodies’
NeWest Press Canada has acquired Contraband Bodies, a new poetry book by Nigerian author and PhD student Jide Salawu. Photo credit: Jide Salawu
Source: UGC

Salawu's publicist, Pelumi Salako, announced in a statement sent to Legit.ng that the book will be published in the Fall of 2025.

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What to know about Jide Salawu's "Contraband Bodies"

"Contraband Bodies" explores themes of migration and displacement, drawing on Salawu's personal experiences moving between Africa, Europe, and America. The collection has been described as an elegy to the postcolonial country, Nigeria and offers a unique perspective on the diasporic experience.

Salawu's work has previously been published in local and international journals and has been nominated for several awards. His chapbook, "Preface for Leaving Homeland", was published by the African Poetry Book Fund in 2019.

"Contraband Bodies" was written during Salawu's fellowship with the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive in Canada, with support from the James Patrick Folinsbee Award, English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Canada.

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The book's current description reads:

"Contraband Bodies is a personal record of migratory travails and a country lost to precarious politics. It is a conscious elegy of displacement and home regained through the tribute of roads, evoking diasporic conditions in a new way by highlighting through pixelated imagery, syncopated language, and lapidary details the diverse circumstances of being a Black migrant in Africa, Europe, and America."

"Contraband Bodies": Salawu speaks on poetry art

In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Salawu revealed the driving force behind his passion for poetry and the inspiration for his upcoming work, "Contraband Bodies".

According to the author, poetry provides an avenue to express his emotions and ideas in a way that resonates deeply with the public.

He described poetry as the "holiest form of language use", enabling him to explore the full spectrum of human experiences.

His words:

"Poetry affords me the opportunity to translate my moods and ideas in a way that the public can find high resonance in them. Poetry is the best accessory that comes with language because it helps you see both the dark and bright and the in-between. It is the holiest form of language use. In Contraband Bodies, I dedicated attention to the ecology of movements that encompass my life by relying on this linguistic gift.

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"Because the travails of migration, even from the country to the city, are unbearable, I started documenting my experiences in Contraband Bodies. It gestated for almost three years, but I am chuffed it has finally been gifted a place at NeWest Press. I can't wait to share what I have in there with the world."

Salawu speaks on securing fully-funded scholarships

Meanwhile, in a previous report by Legit.ng, Salawu said getting fully funded scholarships allows students to focus on their studies without any distractions, including working some hours per week to raise funds.

"Postgraduate degrees without scholarship cost up to $40, 000 (over N30 million) here in Canada," Salawu said, noting that indigent students cannot afford such without securing full funding.

Source: Legit.ng

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Nurudeen Lawal (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) Nurudeen Lawal is an AFP-certified journalist with a wealth of experience spanning over 8 years. He received his B/Arts degree in Literature-in-English from OAU. Lawal is the Head of the Politics/CA Desk at Legit.ng, where he applies his expertise to provide incisive coverage of events. He was named the Political Desk Head of the Year (Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award 2023). He is also a certified fact-checker (Dubawa fellowship, 2020). Contact him at lawal.nurudeen@corp.legit.ng or +2347057737768.