Bature!?West African Haikai

The book is an utaniki, a poetic travel journal comprised of haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai and various Japanese imagist sequences. It records a journey undertaken by the author and his family in a Volkswagen, c 1980, from northeastern Nigeria down to Lagos in the southwest and up the west coast of West Africa through Benin and Togo. With characteristic wit it exposes the neocolonial realities of so-called third world cultures: the ingenuity of their peoples, their wicked humour and resourcefulness. It’s a celebration of life in West Africa before the violence of Boko Haram and the abductions of young girls from Maiduguri, a city Richard Stevenson lived in for two years as a WUSC recruit.


Praise for Hot Flashes: Maiduguri Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka:

“Though there are serious undertones at times, the comic poems centered on small details and brief dialogues really make the collection and stay in the mind. Stevenson shows himself to be a virtuoso of the haiku, and also shows how in a globalized culture a Canadian poet can successfully use Japanese forms to illuminate African realities.”
—Graham Good, Canadian Literature


Praise for Learning To Breathe:

“The power of Stevenson’s poetry lies in a reliance on the particularities of personal experience, and in a forceful combination of narrative and lyric styles that successfully portray the several seasons of being male.”
—Matthew Manera, The Canadian Forum


Publication Date: October 2022

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77415-079-5
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.25″
128 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77415-080-1

Photo of Richard Stevenson

Richard Stevenson retired from a thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing for Lethbridge College in 2015. During that time, he published thirty books, most recently a long poem sequence on the Clifford Olson serial murders case, Rock, Scissors, Paper (2016) and a collection of haikai poetry, A Gaggle of Geese (2017).