The Writer. The Writing. In Tweets.

This Twitter trend has hot writers showing off.
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The poet Adedayo Agarau. From @adedayo_agarau.

Writers are fine people, and they write fine things. Which means that they are not just hot—yes, that’s the word—they are hot cake. I guess that you, like me, might have once searched the Internet for photos of your favourite hot cake writers. (No, we shan’t name names.) After spending time admiring the bridge of their nose, you read some of their writings. Right?

So what if you received the full package—the Writer and the Writing—in one tweet?

There is a Twitter trend. It began sometime in the middle of 2020, when a lot of people were at home and bored. A writer shares a picture of themselves and a screenshot of their writing. It could be anything from intense poetry on paper to a hurriedly scribbled note on a phone.

Check them out.

First tweet above: Adedayo Agarau, author of Origin of Names and editor of Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry, in white, sleeves rolled up, with a face mask under his chin, and an ode to his lover.

Second tweet above: Anathi Jongilanga, editor of Go the Way Your Blood Beats, an anthology of stories that center the lives of queer people, in shorts and a round-neck shirt, and two beautiful paragraphs, the first incomplete, of a short story about two queer lovers. Next to him, there is a book: Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf. He wants us to be jealous.

First tweet above: Asisipho Shaun Burwana is wearing a smile so bright, you can almost feel the warmth in the room in which it was taken. Each of the poems is moving, but the most striking is the last, “Reflections,” which first appeared in a 20.35 Africa anthology. “Reflections” is a memorable work, reminiscent of “Córdoba” by Eduardo C. Corral.

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First tweet in second thread above: The author of Spells of My Name (forthcoming in 2021 from Newfound) I.S. Jones shares a beautiful selfie and a random note that reads like the first lines of an ode to a lover and to intimacy.

First tweet above: Nnamdi Ehirim, author of Prince of Monkeys, shares a picture of himself topless, in which he wears that I’m-fine-don’t-argue kind of look, and a short paragraph that is at once a meditation and a prayer.

First tweet above; Jerry Chiemeke, author of Dreaming of Ways to Understand You, shares a grey image of himself and a note in which he longs and almost begs for someone he holds dearly to return, to be his once again. The note breaks my heart.

First tweet below: I can’t be left behind. I share an altered sonnet which, I must tell you the truth, is not a good poem.

Ernest Ogunyemi
Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí was a staff writer at Open Country Mag. His works have recently appeared/are forthcoming in AGNI, Joyland, No Tokens, Olongo Africa, The Dark, Fiyah, Agbowó, Southern Humanities Review, Minnesota Review, McNeese Review, Down River Road, and West Trade Review. He is the curator of The Fire That Is Dreamed of: The Young African Poets Anthology.

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