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Joyce Ashuntantang

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A Basket of Flaming Ashes
by Joyce Ashuntantang   

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“Playful, sassy, seductive, and suggestive, these poems are Joyce Ashuntantang’s “yes” to life in the midst of losses voiced through multiple and varied speakers who crave connection through nurturing words, shared loaves of laughter, fecundating voices, fire from touching tongues… Her acute cinematic sense, keen eye and sharp ear allow her to render vividly the colors, scents, sounds and the flow of life not only of her native Cameroon but also her adopted homelands.”

Frank M. Chipasula, Professor of Africana Studies, Southern Illinois University

Ashuntantang is an extraordinary weaver of words who showcases vivid pictures that compete with 3D simulation. Her greatest asset is her use of the beautiful traditional Cameroonian anchor that evokes folk tales with its moonlight romance and glory. You feel, laugh, weep, shiver, wonder, and hail the triumphant spirit of the persona as it navigates African post-colonial and global experiences with the melancholy of an exile who is purposeful, strategic, and a lot of fun."


Chinyere G. Okafor, Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Wichita State University, Kansas

A Basket of Flaming Ashes may be Joyce Ashuntantang’s debut poetry collection but it already displays the lyricism and craftsmanship of an experienced poet. The poems flow naturally with feminine elegance and course through myriad forms of love. These are poems that the reader will always go back to read because of their enduring freshness and evocation of experiences that one can easily identify with. I find the collection enthralling.”

Tanure Ojaide, Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies, University of North Carolina

"Phoenix-like, Joyce Ashuntantang’s poems in A Basket of Flaming Ashes rise up again and again as an affirmation of the suffering, the song, the celebration, and the beauty, of forging a place for the self in two worlds: Cameroon and America. The confluence of voices, in particular, makes that affirmation resonant and powerful."

Mary Fister, Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing, University of Hartford, Connecticut.

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