Ugochukwu Durueke

Residency: Scribus 08

28 March – 9 May 2013


Ugochukwu Durueke, April 2013

Through his poetry, article writing and short stories UgochuKwu Durueke concerns himself with social issues, and the need for a change of attitude in order to bring about a safer, more nurturing and more prosperous world. He was born in Nigeria, but emigrated to Jamaica 17 years ago, a life change which has allowed him to see his current environment both as an adopted local, and as an outsider. He is both critical about what he observes, and joyful about the opportunities his observations give rise to – 2 opposing sides of the same basic position. His works embrace both aspects of this.

Although his writing is often political in nature, he advocates a gentle approach to change. In his poem A Woman’s Desire, published in Jamaican national newspaper The Gleaner, 18 March 2012, he suggests that simply paying a compliment, showing a modicum of gratitude towards someone who helps you can make a difference to the world.

Hand in hand with this, in his poem My Sunrise, published in The Gleaner, 11 December 2011, he outlines a manifesto for hope and positivity for the future, based on a faith in human endeavour.

During his residency at ArtFunkl Durueke has spent time absorbing the atmosphere and energy of Manchester. He has attended writers events and met local writers and poets. This has been an opportunity to make changes in his own approach to writing and to challenge his normal modes of working. His main concern has been to complete his latest anthology of poetry and his book of short stories, entitled “The Painful Marriage and Other Stories”, but he has also found himself inspired to write new works based on his experience of the UK.

Durueke is a much published writer in Jamaica. He has had many of his poems published in the media as well as publishing an anthology of poetry entitled :The Agony of Nature”. He has also won several awards including “Winner of the Best Book Review” in the National Reading Competition 2012, and “Poem of Week” award from The Gleaner newspaper.

My sunrise (published 2011)

For too long I have wallowed

In economic doldrums

But now, I see the sun rise

For too long I’ve been trapped

By the thraldom of vain political promises

But now, I see the sun rise

For too long I’ve been stuck

In the quagmire of criminality

But now, I see the sun rise

For too long I’ve inhaled the putrid smell

Of social decay

But now, I see the sun rise

It is a new dawn, I see the sun rise

I too, arise

I rise, I rise

For I need to reach my fullest potential

I am Jamaica, I am Jah mek yah

I am Xaymaica

I can’t stay down forever.