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Published on Feb 19, 2007
John Haynes, winner of the 2006 Costa Poetry Award, talks about his book, Letter to Patience.
The interview, commissioned by Costa, was shown at the Costa book of the Year awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 7th February 2007.
About the book: Set in Patience Parlour, a small mud-walled bar in northern Nigeria, at a time of political unrest, Letter to Patience is a vividly atmospheric book-length poem divided into cantos. The letter writer is in Britain, where he has returned with his Nigerian wife and children to nurse his dying father. The poem is not only a biography, or an essay on post-colonialism, it is an epic portrayal of a beautiful and troubled country and of one man's search for meaning in difficult times.
About the author: John Haynes spent 1970 to 1988 as a lecturer in English at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria where he founded the literary journal, Saiwa. Now back in the UK, he has continued teaching, writing and publishing and is the author of a number of books: on teaching, on style and language theory, on African poetry, stories for African children, as well as two other volumes of verse. He has won prizes in the Arvon and National Poetry Competitions.