Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

A Is for Acholi

by (author) Otoniya J. Okot Bitek

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Canadian, African, Family, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A is for Acholi is a sweeping collection exploring diaspora, the marginalization of the Acholi people, the dusty streets of Nairobi and the cold grey of Vancouver. Playfully upending English and scholarly notation Bitek rearranges the alphabet, hides poems in footnotes and slips stories into superscripts. With writing that is lyric, layered and deeply felt, the poems in A is for Acholi unfold maps of history, culture and identity, tracing a route to a present where the poet dreams of writing a world without empire.

About the author

Otoniya J. Okot Bitek is a poet and scholar. Her collection of poetry, 100 Days (University of Alberta 2016), 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. From the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021, Otoniya had the privileged positions of being the Ellen and Warren Tallman Writer-in-Residence, and one of the SFU Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows. She has recently moved to Kingston, Ontario, to live on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe people. Otoniya is an assistant professor of Black Creativity in Queen's University, Kingston.


Otoniya J. Okot Bitek's profile page


  • Short-listed, Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes
  • Short-listed, Pat Lowther Memorial Award
  • Short-listed, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Related lists