Timothy Ogene

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Timothy Ogene
Occupation Novelist, poet
Alma mater

St. Edward's University

University of East Anglia

University of Oxford

Timothy Ogene (b. 1984) is a Nigerian poet and novelist.[1] He is the author of Descent & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2016) and The Day Ends Like Any Day (Holland House, 2017).[2] Of his poetry, Felicity Plunkett writes:

"Timothy Ogene’s poems are writings of witness, displacement and beauty. Instead of a home address there are poems as address, at once exquisitely gentle and acute. The sharpness of the poems’ blades—whether literal, like the blades that peel cassavas and leave the speaker’s arms scarred, or deeper injuries of trauma and loss—sits alongside their subtlety and tenderness. These are poems of deep attentiveness to the smallest encounters, and to the largest questions of love, doubt, solitude and migration. Their crafting reveals Ogene’s deep reading, both of poetry and of the landscapes the poems explore. How do poems that bear witness to violence, loss and displacement open so gently to the reader? This paradox is one of many in these wise, important poems. I am reminded of Hélène Cixous’s description of Paul Celan’s poetry as ‘writing that speaks of and through disaster such that disaster and desert become author or spring’. Where trees hold ‘time in absent leaves’, these poems mourn roots but refrain from ‘easy paths’, offering, instead, the force and grace of a numinous poetics." [3]

Born in Nigeria, Timothy has since lived in Liberia, Germany, the United States, and England. His writings have appeared in Tincture Journal,[4] Numero Cinq,[5] One Throne Magazine,[6] Poetry Quarterly,[7] Harvard Review,[8] Hong Kong Review of Books,[9] Glasgow Review of Books,[10] Tahoma Literary Review,[11] The Missing Slate,[12] Stirring, Kin Poetry Journal, Mad Swirl, Blue Rock Review, aaduna, and other places. He holds a first degree in English and History from St. Edward's University, a Master's in World Literatures in English from the University of Oxford,[13] and a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He's currently a PhD student in English at the University of Cambridge.

Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, by the editors of aaduna and One Throne Magazine, he was also shortlisted for the 2010 Arvon International Poetry Competition.[14] Australian Book Review included Descent & Other Poems in its 2016 Books of the Year.[15] It was also listed as a 2017 favourite by Literary Hub,[16] and was a finalist for the 2017 Glenna Luschei Prize judged by John Keene, who praised it as a “lyric and emotional journey that swiftly and utterly captures the reader’s eye and heart.”[17]

Introducing him to an audience at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Cambridge, MA,[18] Ruth Lepson remarks:

"Timothy quietly pays attention. He has little interest in talking about himself and in his poems he rarely names the places he describes --he's no tourist. He's a loving observer. Wherever in the world he is he notices the everyday, the changes of weather, the ordinary, the harsh, the destructive, the lovely. He uses imagery but sometimes figurative language and you feel those comparisons are never arbitrary. He appears in the poems as a self, not a particular individual self but a self who expresses the universal. He loves to write, he is devoted to the language, he loves to read, he loves to concentrate then he loves to surface and contact the few people he is regularly in touch with because he cares nothing for the trappings of the literary world--he wants work and love."[19]

Between 2006 and 2013, Timothy was actively involved in international youth leadership and cultural programs. In 2008, he was selected to participate in the first Jane Goodall Global Youth Summit,[20] and in 2009 was awarded a Dekeyser & Friends Fellowship from the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation, now The Do School, and spent several months immersed in cultural projects at the Markus Wasmeier Bauernhof- und Wintersportmuseum Schliersee.[21] He was also involved with the Earth Charter, as a youth co-representative for Africa & the Middle East, from 2007-2009.[22]

While living in Liberia, Timothy was a representative and mentor for the Strongheart Fellows Program, " an innovative educational program to help exceptional young people from extremely challenging backgrounds rise above circumstance and excel in our larger shared world."[23] He also spent time volunteeering as a part-time literature teacher at Robertsport High School, in Grand Cape Mount County.

The title of his novel, The Day Ends Like Any Day, is the ninth line of "A Half-Life" by Henri Cole. On the cover is a full picture of Gormley's SUBLIMATE XIII, 2007.[24]


  • Descent & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2016)
  • The Day Ends Like Any Day (Holland House, 2017)


  1. ^ "Timothy Ogene". timothyogene.com. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  2. ^ Absent Calls, Numero Cinqhttp://numerocinqmagazine.com/2015/12/08/absent-calls-poems-timothy-ogene. Retrieved 2016-11-21
  3. ^ "Descent & Other Poems – Deerbrook Editions". www.deerbrookeditions.com. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  4. ^ A Sequence, "Tincture Journal" – http://tincture-journal.com/2017/01/07/a-sequence-by-timothy-ogene/
  5. ^ Absent Calls, Numero Cinqhttp://numerocinqmagazine.com/2015/12/08/absent-calls-poems-timothy-ogene/
  6. ^ Notes from A Discarded Memoir, One Throne Magazinehttp://www.onethrone.com/notes-from-a-discarded-memoir
  7. ^ "Poetry Quarterly – https://prolificpress.com/bookstore/poetry-quarterly-c-1/poetry-quarterly-wintersummer-2012-p-55.html
  8. ^ "Timothy Ogene | Harvard Review Online". harvardreview.fas.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  9. ^ hongkongrb (2017-01-25). "Welcome to Lagos". HONG KONG REVIEW OF BOOKS 香港書評. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  10. ^ Glasgow Review of Books (2017-03-29). "A TROUBLING TRANSFORMATION: A. Igoni Barrett's 'Blackass'". Glasgow Review of Books. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  11. ^ Monologue for Country and Ex-Neighbours, Tahoma Literary Reviewhttp://amzn.to/2flgrpq. Retrieved 2016-11-21
  12. ^ A Strand of Ice, The Missing Slatehttp://themissingslate.com/2013/10/05/a-strand-of-ice/view-all/. Retrieved 2016-11-21
  13. ^ New Perspectives on Chinua Achebe, or the Writer Outside his Writing – http://bit.ly/2gfqZW3
  14. ^ "Shortlist for Arvon Competition Announced | Write Out Loud". www.writeoutloud.net. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  15. ^ 2016 Books of the Year, Australian Book Reviewhttps://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/archive/2016/188-december-2016-no-387/3706-2016-books-of-the-year
  16. ^ "Our Favourite Collection of 2017". Literary Hub. 
  17. ^ "2017 Glenna Luschei Prize". African Poetry Book Fund. Retrieved 2017-12-21. 
  18. ^ Reading with Timothy Ogene – Poets & Writers
  19. ^ Grolier Summer Series: Timothy Ogene – https://ruthlepson.com/news/2016/8/30/nigerian-poetry.Retrieved 2016-11-21
  20. ^ Jane Goodall Summit – http://www.rootsnshoots.org.uk/blog/2008/05/16/jane-goodalls-global-youth-summit/
  21. ^ Museum Project in Schliersee, Germanyhttp://www.dekeyserandfriends.org/past-projects/
  22. ^ Earth Charter Youth Initiative Handbook – https://earthcharter.org/virtual-library2/images/uploads/ECYI%20Handbook,%20Version%202.0,%20November%202007.doc.pdf. Retrieved 2016-11-21
  23. ^ Strongheart Fellowship: Liberia – http://strongheartgroup.org/our-work/
  24. ^ "Antony Gormley". www.antonygormley.com. Retrieved 2017-01-25.