Song & Dread by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek
A poetry collection reflecting on life during the COVID-19 pandemic
Rife with the paradoxical forces of boredom and intensity, the early days of COVID-19 passed under an inescapable pall. The poems of Song & Dread seek quietude, order, refuge, and space within that shroud. They remind us of community, connectedness, and what is inherently shared. Here, Otoniya J. Okot Bitek becomes a record keeper, observing the contradictory, symbiotic relationship between the quotidian and the extraordinary. These are works of their time, while remembering an existence outside it. With a keen eye, Okot Bitek documents the ways the strange can become normalized when there is no other option. (From Talonbooks)
Otoniya J. Okot Bitek is a poet and scholar. Her collection of poetry, 100 Days, was nominated for several writing prizes, including the 2017 BC Book Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, the 2017 Alberta Book Awards and the 2017 Canadian Authors Award for Poetry. It won the 2017 IndieFab Book of the Year Award for poetry and the 2017 Glenna Lushei Prize for African Poetry. She was also longlisted for the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize.