Mt. A professor, Dr. Ede, releases essay collection
Dr. Amatoritsero Ede is an Assistant Professor of English here at Mt. A and the publisher and editor of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement. Originally born in Nigeria, he has published several collections of poetry and appeared in various anthologies, but Imagination’s Many Rooms is his first book of essays. The book was released on August 19 2022 and a launch event was held on February 1 this year. In conversation with Dr. Geordie Miller (another Mt. A English professor), Ede read several excerpts from the book and spoke on its themes and ideas.
When asked about the creation of the book, he said that “the book of essays developed from all of the editorials I’ve been writing in the Maple Tree Literary Supplement for the past fifteen years, so I collected them, edited them, and presented them in a kind of organic manner.”
He read one of the essays, “Going to Meet the Man,” out loud. The essay recounts a part of his own life when, as a young man, he set off to meet a writer he admired very much in hopes of finding guidance. The essay exemplified many of the themes that Ede spoke about during the rest of the event. He and Miller spoke about how the text, despite being prose, holds a sort of poetic imagination. Ede defines himself as a poet first and foremost. He also spoke about how much poetry means to him: how it was an obsession that became therapeutic, one that he credits with saving him from the streets.
When I spoke to him after the launch event, I asked what he found difficult about creating the book. “I didn’t even think I was writing a book, I was just doing the editorials for the journal, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and then at the end it occurred to me that once scholars started using some of the articles as academic sources,[…] it was about time to put it together,” he said. He added that, “in terms of production, the difficulty was teaching, doing academic work and research, and trying to put it together.”
When I asked what his favourite essay was, he stated: “‘Harry and the Boys’, because I was writing about a friend I lost, a very dear friend, and I didn’t get to see him before he passed, so I had to write down an imaginative conversation.” He referred to the process as “my hand and his voice” and “bring[ing] him from the back of the beyond.”
Another favourite of his is “‘End of the American Empire,’ […] a critique of the Trump administration which [does not mention] Trump [even] one time.”
Imagination’s Many Rooms is available on online storefronts like Amazon. Perhaps consider picking it up.