Welcome to Peregrine Reads Interviews. On this section of the blog, we will be hosting people from all walks of life- authors, writers, artists, bloggers, business persons, thought leaders, coaches, anyone and everyone who wants to share the experiences of their journeys to inspire others…..
Today on Peregrine reads, I’m happy to host OYIN OLUDIPE , one of the contestants of our #PatriotsForChange independence contest who of course emerged 3rd place winner with his essay “And then, our conscience sector”.
Briefly introduce yourself
Oyin Oludipe was born in Epe, Lagos state. He is a recent Graduate of Mass Communication at Babcock University, Nigeria; and a poet who is currently preparing to serve his country as a National Youth Scheme Corps member.
Where did your love of books and reading come from?
That came from my early years of childhood. I hail from a town where serenity is an integral part of life. So, as a kid, I had a strange penchant for libraries, or any place where you encountered a presence of books. Aided by my mother, reading brought it with the marvels of imagination; which, I have come to discover, are a complete anti-thesis of boredom. I have even been told by elderly family members that I, as a boy, was always very fascinated by billboards. I made sure to read out the contents of every one that our cars passed. Reading, for me, just always seemed the appropriate thing to do at every point in time.
How long have you been writing?
For as long as I have been reading. Precisely, four years of age. I was prone to reproducing variations—even though they were infantile scribbles—of what I had read.
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I am a very lazy songwriter, but I compose poems, short plays, fictions, essays and ad copies. I also put up reviews of books and movies I have enjoyed on my blog.
What inspires you to write?
Life does—life and its various variable elements. I am fascinated by life, by time, by human spaces, events and inventions. They are very interesting domains for the observant eyes. Like mine, there then comes the urge to glean insights from and immortalize memories of them. So, I write.
Who are some of your favourite authors that you feel are influential in your works? What impact have they had on your writing?
Among others, Wole Soyinka, T. S. Elliot, and Nuruddin Farah. These are writers who are/were obsessed with language, idealism in art forms, and the tragic visions of their respective native lands. By personal reckoning, I have grown to think these things inevitable parameters of good literature—and then, of course, my own literature.
Why do you write?
To set myself free, to extend my finite reality here in this world to greener horizons of imagination. Writing, for me, is, in most cases, a self-serving therapy for the writer. I write to defy lingering inconveniencies of everyday living, to get in touch with myself. In “The Trilogy of Poetic Identity: Refuge, Genesis and Rebellion”, a forthcoming essay of mine, I put it more precisely thus: “I must become a rebellion against life’s reality, a genesis against life’s mortality and a refuge against life’s hostility.” To create and recreate my own world – these are the reasons why I write.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I believe it is having to do so around people—family or friends—who do not understand—or aren’t ready to accommodate—neither you as a writer nor what eccentricities must naturally come of your writing process. It can be maddening – to be, sometimes, denied your writerly right to occasional seclusion, midnight rituals, and long laptop romances!
Do you ever get Writer’s Block?
I do not believe in that. There are no blocks for a writer. Time, for a writer, consists of either writing or thinking about writing, which, in most cases, approximates to reading. Elsewhere, he or she’s asleep, dreaming of publishing.
What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I can hardly be sure. We exist in such dynamic times, you know. I am – as well as you are – aware of the influence of the Internet, of how its explosive growth since the 1980s has been far faster than the growth of any other communication medium, faster than the spread of the telephone, radio, television, or even cellular telephones. Modern surveys generally reveal that there are, at least, a billion Internet-dwellers worldwide. I think there is something implicative about this reality that disturbs the notion of reading and writing as paper rituals. As it is, we have on our hands a deluge of literary activities on virtual grounds: e-publishing, marketing, blogging, fora mobilization and the likes. We are witnessing a big convergence between traditional and new media; and, as such, I may infer that this trend would surely affect the reading/writing culture of the whole world. Again, I choose to refrain from stating precisely how that would happen; but I know that somewhere in that discourse, the Internet cannot be ignored.
How do you find or make time to write?
I write, mostly, at night. In that gentle dark, there seems to be always enough space and time to capture emotions and create thoughts.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Lots. Literary journals, poetries from Africa, dramas from my favourite playwrights (like Soyinka, Miller, Marlowe, Oswald etc.), biographies, random good blogs and powerful Internet articles. Then I dedicate an inviolable number of hours to studying my Bible.
What project(s) are you working on at the present?
I am currently reading submissions for an upcoming edition of EXPOUND, an international magazine of arts and aesthetics, where I work as Nonfiction Editor. We are wrapping up internal operations for a special issue, which we have termed “The Dirty Issue.” As the title suggests, it will be a compilation of erotic arts from African artists, which will include nonfiction, short fiction, poetry, graphic arts, paintings and photography. To us at EXPOUND, it is our special way of probing the lonely margins of the creative literary mind. Also, I have been engaged, as a judge, in the WRR-Caprecon Green Author Prize project – a prize for young unpublished Nigerian poets residing around four strategic geo-political zones of the country. Sometime next month, “Verses from the Niger”, an anthology of poems from the four zonal winners will be published and first launched at the WRR (Words Rhymes and Rhythm) Literary Festival, which would take place at the University of Ibadan on December 12.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Simple and scary. I want to be one of the most relevant writers of my generation, and a Nobel Prize winner in some future time.
What has been your achievement(s) so far as a writer?
Save some features in several reputable publications, I think it is to have gained a wider readership for myself, readership that has attested to my works’ good works. In 2013, I received the WRR Poetry Beacon Prize. In 2014, a poem of mine, “Student” was shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Prize for Poetry. Very recently this year, I made the shortlist for the Nigerian Writers’ Awards (NWA) as Young Writer of the Year.
How do you relax?
Conversations, for I am a creature of habitual silence. Then, strolls, movies, and sleep. Somewhere in between somnolence and dreams, I really enjoy pondering in the dark. It always feels like a massage.
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
Great industrialist, Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t – you’re right.” Overwhelming.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
By my Maker’s grace, in my own great library, a renowned university professor, prolific writer, and – if it would come that early – happy husband.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Ah that would be Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. That man evoked romance and perceived nature in a way that most humans have failed to.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep connecting. There is something that time does to the persistent creative that is greatly kind and amazing.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Asides my urge to families and friends of writers to respect, value, and encourage writers; nothing.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Blog: Hairy Diary
Facebook: Oyin S. Oludipe
LinkedIn: Oyin Oludipe
Goodreads: Oyin Oludipe
Thanks for your time and patience
It’s my pleasure.
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