The Animals of My Earth School; A Poetry Collection by Mildred Barya-A Review

‘The Animals of My Earth School,’ is a gift to readers of all ages, because it has dared to imagine, to feel and to experience animals as they think deeply, live intentionally and thrive. Imagine ‘The Life of Pi’, as a poetry collection.

There is a gravitation towards escaping to a quiet place to read poetry, in order to dwell in its mystery and enchantment.

Mildred Barya has taken us to a world where it is possible for peace to reign. An animal utopia of sorts. And yet she is careful to draw parallel lines between human consciousness.

Locusts. What a brave and apt poem, that declares humanity and love as the victors of our life’s quest.¬†Despite numerous attempts at vanity, greed and disloyalty, consciousness always wins.

Falling in Love. The image of turkeys and driving mirrors. How extraordinary and accurate at the same time.
Unrequited. The simple and yet complex interaction between a human and a cat, stray or otherwise. Similar to our interactions with acquaintances.

Not only do we become drawn into an animal universe, noticing animals which we may have previously ignored, we also enjoy the stories, the dialogue, the dare-devil missteps and the entertainment of daily life.

The poetry is well structured, orchestrated to fit into our lives as we seek answers, as we look for that word which summarises how we feel and as we observe so many untold mishaps around us. The animals are a force to reckon with, engaging in the best and worst ways, allowing us to consider our actions and to dream at the same time, of possibilities.

From ants, beetles, chicken, antelope and many more, the range of  selection also gives the reader a range of emotion and movement to explore.

This is Mildred Kiconco Barya’s foruth full length poetry collection. She teaches creative writing and literature at UNC-Asheville.

The Animals of my Earth School is available at African Writers Trust and on Amazon. Get your copy. You won’t regret it.


Reviewed by Beverley

Babishai Visits Olea Academy for Book Week

Children give us the grace to acknowledge how colourful and diverse the world is.

Children remind us that at the heart of education, is the necessity to play, have fun and be as honest with the process as possible.

Photo by Bryan Muwonge

In April, Olea Academy celebrated Book Week and invited Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation. Team Leader Beverley Nambozo, held the pupils in inspiration and awe, sharing the elements of storytelling, leading the children in various dance routines, because learning should be creative and interactive.

Photo by Olea Staff

Pupils at Olea Academy, ready to learn.

Photo by Bryan Muwonge

Beverley Nambozo addressing the pupils.

Principal Jane Settuba and fellow staff continue to use reading and writing as major tools in the learning process at Olea Academy.

Photo by Bryan Muwonge


To read the newsletter with details of the visit, follow the link below.