Titilope Sonuga’s “This Is How We Disappear”

Titilope Sonuga’s poetry collection This Is How We Disappear was published by Write Bloody North on April 26, 2019.

Titilope Sonuga is an award-winning poet, writer, and performer who has been on stages across Nigeria and internationally. She was the winner of the 2011 Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Writer Award for her first collection of poems, Down To Earth. Her spoken word album Mother Tongue was released in 2013 followed by a second collection of poetry, Abscess, in 2014.

Titilope, who we first heard perform at the Ake Festival in 2016, has a new poetry collection published by Canadian outfit Write Bloody North. The collection takes its title from the poem This Is How We Disappear which has been received very well whenever she has performed it on stages around the world. Here is the poem being performed;


The new collection has the following blurb;

On the night of April 14, 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria by terrorist organization, Boko Haram. Before the global outrage and the viral, Bring Back Our Girls movement pleading for their return, there was a deafening silence. This is How We Disappear is Titilope Sonuga’s reckoning with this quiet vanishing while living in Lagos, Nigeria at the time of the abductions.

With powerful grace, she reaches into a larger truth about the many ways a woman can disappear; into her body, into her mind, into the earth, uncovering a culture of silence that spans generations.

From Nigeria to Canada and back again, Sonuga charts her own migration patterns across the globe, negotiating loss, grief and the journey from girlhood into womanhood. With the distinctive music of Sonuga’s poetry and the rhythm of the oral traditions from which she emerges, This is How We Disappear is a celebration of the legacy of womanhood, magic making and shapeshifting as daring acts of survival.

Nigerian author and publisher Chris Abani says of the new book, “In This Is How We Disappear, Titilope Sonuga moves deftly from narrative to lyric, from melancholy to a fierce joy, from ethical negotiations to fierce resistance, from exploration of gender and power, and family intimacies, to small yet poignant and often startling moments of lucidity, all set to the unique music of her style and language. Strong, important and moving.”

You can get copies of the collection from her publishers or on Amazon.