Ijeoma Umebinyuo understands that poetry is not just words scattered across a page, it is the aching, beautiful core at the center of each of us. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she has been lauded as one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s greatest contemporary poets. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various publications, including The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, and The Rising Phoenix Review.
Ijeoma believes deeply in the transformative power of words. Her poetry gives form to the ephemeral vastness of concepts such as “love” and “womanhood.” She weaves her unique narrative into complex and intensely emotional subjects, including migration, displacement, depression, the lives of women, and loss. Her debut poetry collection, Questions for Ada, embodies the pain, passion, and power that Ijeoma brings to her work. She unflinchingly uses writing to break her own heart, and painstakingly pieces it back together, poem by poem.
Though she’s a self-proclaimed recluse, Ijeoma recently participated in a TEDX Talk, where she was invited to discuss her impactful writing. She uses solitude as a tool to hone her skills. She is motivated to grow in her craft and push boundaries with her art. She hopes her work can play a role in societal and political transformation and healing.