Tell us about yourself: Name, Age, Family and Educational Background
My name is Graciano Gracious Sean Enwerem. I’m the only son birthed by Mr. Canice and Mrs. Celine Enwerem. I hail from Orogwe, Owerri West LGA of Imo State.
What is your definition of poetry? Do you think Poetry is different to Spoken Word? Why?
Poetry is that terse write-up that marries truth and beauty, juxtaposing the opinion of the poet about certain issues of life. It is comprehended and appreciated by learned men and lay men alike. It is not and shouldn’t ever be a claptrap for a wondering wandering audience!
What inspires you to write poetry? How long have you been writing poetry?
My muse is deduced from experiences ranging from the good and the austere- mine and / or those of the people around me.
I started writing what could pass as poetry when I was as young as 8 or thereabout.
However, I remember writing my first real poem in the year 2004. That was when there was a call for submissions in my Secondary school for the 10th anniversary of the school’s magazine (Boys’ Model Secondary School, New Owerri).
What made you transit from writing poetry to performing poetry/ spoken word? How long have you been performing?
Someone said, “if you wanna hide something from a Nigerian, put it in a book”. It’s palpable that we prefer movies to ordinary drama sketches just as we appreciate music more than poetry. However, since spoken word fuses music and poetry, and since it conveys the real essence of the poem and makes the persona solidly lucid, it becomes without a doubt the surest way poetry can be appreciated in our part
of the globe.
How has your life and/or your relationship with poetry changed since you started performing?
It has made me a voracious reader just as I also crave for news making the rounds. Especially when I’m sure it dovetails to power, the government and the governed.
How do you feel education influenced your development as a poet?
It’s no longer news that poets should be able to write poems that can appeal to any kind of audience irrespective of their educational echelon. A poet should know what “deep” is as well as what “lucid” is and find the balance between the duo. Only education does that!
What poetry books are next to your bedside table? What do you appreciate about them?
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare, The Lure Of Ash by Prof. Isidore Diala and a few poems by Prof. Wole Soyinka and Niyi Osundare.
The works of Shakespeare and that of Prof. Wole Soyinka pose some kind of challenge to learners because they are deep. Whereas poems from the stables of Prof. Isidore Diala and Niyi Osundare are edible even by lay men even though they are not entirely watered.
You have performed poetry over 5 years, what do you find is the best way into a poetic state of mind for people who are new to the craft?
Read wide, improve your grammar and “wordbank,” comment on societal issues and not about your lone self. Be prayerful, open to criticism and above all, be morally adept and eccentric.
Congrats on winning War Of Words 3, how does it feel to be a winner? What is a measure of success as a poet?
Many thanks. I feel happy, comforted and mostly, vindicated. I’ve shoved the experiences at War Of Words 3 into the archives of my memorabilia.
What do you think of the competition, your fellow competitors, the judges and the audience? What has changed since you won the competition?
Friends advised me against entering to compete at War Of Words 3. I was told that it was a “LAGOS-LAGOS” thing. But following the result now, with myself (from PH) emerging the winner and Aquila also from Port Harcourt emerging as the first runner up, I very well doubt if any further rumoured talk against the ingenuity of War Of Words will ever hold water.
Hmmm my fellow competitors LOL! Before the show started, JAMESCONCO and Agarau who talked big and with the “LAGOS-LAGOS” talk making the rounds, gave me some shivers. During the show proper especially after the first round, Aquila and Mymah served me some chilled drinks of scare lol. However, that disposition made me work harder. I think they were great at the night.
As for the judges, “METHINKS” they were absolutely impartial and seasoned. I hadn’t met any of them until that day. Again, for the fact that they were able to cite my deep lines despite the fact that I was pacing, they surely are the best crop of poets that ought to judge spoken word poetry competitions any day, anytime and anywhere. LOL!
Let me also add that “Donna the Poet” who flattered me with her appraisal of my kind of poetry and Torpedo Mascaw who etched some uneven repute in my heart with his free-styling commentary on my poems at the night were poetry personified! Well, the only thing that has changed is that I now endure and enjoy the pains and gain of a celebrity. LOL!
War Of Words 3.
Everyone in the audience sounded like poets to me. They exclaimed, stood up, laughed and cried exactly when I expected them to. The atmosphere was frenetic and the simmering chemistry was “CLEFTY.”
Which one of your poem is special to you and what led you to write it?
My latest poem “12 Million Nonsense” was birthed from the concept of the futility in gathering some elite personalities to talk about troubling issues that really do not trouble them and paying them heavily for it in the auspices of a painted “National Conference” spurred my hands to scribble the poem.
Is there any “bad” poem? If yes, what makes a poem “good”?
Aside from the basic quality of marrying truth and beauty, I feel a good poem is that poem that could be understood and appreciated by majority of the audience and its thematic preoccupation must be relevant in solving a societal problem, else it will be a composition of a beautiful linguistic noise!
Do you believe poetry is important today? Why?
Trendy poems like mine, records events for posterity and as well as the comments about them. It shapes and sharpens the mind of the poet and the “mEYEnds” of those who listen to or read the poems.
Who are some of your favorite poets, locally and internationally?
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as it relates to poetry? What advice do you have for aspiring poets?
The future has always been and will be an untapped goldmine. Hence, God willing, I see myself encouraging, developing and empowering budding poets.
I’d advise them to read and write like they’ve not prayed and pray like they’ve not read or written anything… Publish or Perish!
Any intimate details/ information you would like to share with us?
Let’s do more of this.