Chinua Achebe Salute

“Edible Poetry” - an ongoing series of events at Panorama Cafe in Jamaica, Queens celebrated the great Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe’s birthday, on 16 November with a reading of his poetry. On the menu for the event: Pumpkin Parfait, Pumpkin Tiramisu, Pear Crostata with Figs and Honey

Mr. Achebe, best know for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which to date has sold well over ten million copies, was cited in the London Sunday Times as one of the “1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century” for defining “A modern African literature that was truly African” and thereby making “a major contribution to the world literature. 

Mr. Achebe, a special friend of Sri Chinmoy’s, was on hand by telephone to receive birthday wishes which began with the singing of “Chinua Achebe” (below).  Sri Chinmoy wrote this song on 5 May 2006 on the occasion of Mr. Achebe receiving from him both the  Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart and U Thant Peace Awards.  This was followed by a hearty rendition of Happy Birthday and heartfelt thank you from Mr. Achebe to the audience.   Continuing with the theme, Bhikshuni Weisbrot, host of Edible Poetry, read from a selection of Mr. Achebe’s work from Collected Poems (see for selections from this volume).

Joining in the festivities were Dr. Lindamichelle Baron, York College Professor, author and performance artist and Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club in lower Manhattan.  Talented Panorama newcomers Samantha Thornhill and Esther Shamash joined Nilpushpi White at the concluding open mike. 

Chinua Achebe, Chinua Achebe, Achebe!
An ever-blossoming heart of the Eternal Day.
Thinker, writer, server of the zenith height,
Within, without, wisdom-fountain-delight.
Each man has the right to choose the God of his own,
Inside the global heart, this seed you have sown.
O multiplicity’s unity-core,
Your boat carries the world to the Golden Shore.