Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'Remembering Okot p Bitek' Anthology: Call for Submissions

In celebration of Okot p Bitek’s life and achievements, we are inviting outstanding essays, reviews, scholarly articles, poems, short fiction and interviews directly and indirectly centering on Okot p Bitek's works and life. We are looking at the impact of Okot p Bitek at a personal level, socially, in literature, academically, historically, politically, culturally and how he was influenced in those ways.

This year on 20th, July, 2012 marks thirty years since Okot left us to the land of his ancestors. We are compiling this anthology to be published in July on the said theme of “Remembering Okot p Bitek”.

Word count: 500 - 3000 words (less for poetry where necessary)

Format: An attached Word doc/docx, times new roman, 12 point, double spaced.

Submissions: By email only to: okotpbitek2012@gmail.com
Deadline: April, 1st, 2012

As we continue to work on the project, we will keep in mind that the success of the project will be driven by both the quantity and quality of submissions. Tentatively, the anthology will be published by Kushinda in eBook format and distributed through Amazon’s Kindle format. We hope to publish the anthology in print later.

We will engage professional editors to review the submissions and give thumbs-up for the final selection for publication. As of now, the team putting together this project, in case of any communication, comprises of;

1. David Tumusiime – Lead coordinator and
2. Brian Bwesigye.

All ideas and volunteers are welcome in the spirit of celebrating Okot p Bitek, the man, his life and his work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Life Goes On-2012

Hey you,

It’s been a while. More than a while. This is my public love note for you. Not sure if you are going to get it. I do still care. But I’m putting out here because this is my best chance you will see it. Not drunk-writing this. Or high on some caffeine high you always tu-tu’d-working your way away from.

I admired that. Though I never told you. I learned that from you. Working, doggedly, toward what you wanted. Through the window gazing tears watching him walk away, it seemed like with your heart, holding onto your principle, your dreams, your goals. He was not walking far, because he would open his car door & you would remember the ‘select music’ CD in his play system he had made for you and how you would never get to hear it again. Even through the trembling fingers iTunes recreations you would attempt-it would never quite be like the 4 hour afternoon ‘random’ selection he had come up with for you. The tucked away surprises therein his flawless music system would bring to the surface, like the musician sighing before the next verse…

Yet you never lost it. Would never lose it. Running. Running. I used to wonder what that was about. Now I get it. There were demons to get away from & you & you were running. Those morning jogs iPod plugged in-your exercise songs. I used to wonder about some of the songs-so determinedly cheerful, pumpy, blazing. My steaming cup of coffee, at the table, waiting for you to come on-after the run-disheveled and thinking it, wow, I must be a sight.

When would that chat icon light up? Briefly…’Hold on…I got to go invisible….’ Dim…then we begin…


I miss that.

Would you again, same Gospel, tirelessly preach as if the first time each time, “I’m going to teach you to be happy…” 

That audacity used to me laugh, chuckle. I had tried that, I thought.

But you changed. I’ve changed.

But somewhere, when we do talk sometimes, you are still there, I’m still here.
Now work swallows you up, like it used to swallow me up even then. I no longer ask for new photo albums, more photos, come on-and you do not wonder if my photo remains the same, for weeks and weeks.

Even the music recommends are more infrequent.

But today, today, I heard a song ‘Life Goes On’ by Gym Class Heroes-and it was YOU-This was US-this is what we used to talk about-yeah, Life Goes On-and never let go of what is important to you-never...

“Lately it seems the good dreams are few and far between/ Nightmares are putting fires out with gasoline (damn)/ And I'm just tryna stay righteous/ Sometimes I see my own face in Christ's likeness/ And apart from my life's vices, fifteen years young had my first mid-life crisis/ But it's tough to stay upright and pious when people you hold highest be the ones that most biased…” 

Remember? I do. I know you remember too. A part of you does. And I’m working my way back. I will be there.

“Is it really that hard to smile?”