Inua Ellams' Five Things.

Written by Lazy Gramophone on Thursday the 7th of February 2013

Five Things is a series of short journal posts introducing each of the writers and artists involved in our up-coming Time project.

Since the project's inception, the idea has been to create an environment where independent writers and artists could come together in order to share their work. The result of this endeavour is a collection of stories, images and poems based around the theme of time, its pages placing particular focus upon the relationship between words and pictures. By sharing in this way we hope to inspire each other as well as those around us, to draw a diverse audience and so help to illuminate the work of alternative artists and writers everywhere.


Inua Ellams was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria in 1984. He works as a poet, playwright, performer. Under the moniker 'phaze' he also works as a graphic designer/ artist. He has five books published including Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales (Poetry, Flipped Eye, 2005) The 14th Tale (Play, Flipped Eye, 2009) and Untitled (Poetry & Play, Oberon, 2010). His poems were included in anthologies: Generation Txt (Penned in the Margins, 2006), City State (Penned in the Margins, 2009), The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011). His second pamphlet Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars came out in November 2011.

Five Things that have Inspired my Writing.

I started writing when I was 15 or so. I discovered basketball and Irish women (I lived in Dublin at the time), picked up the pen again when I was 18. At the time, I didn't think it was poetry, merely rhythmic scattered thought with a hint of structure. What drove me to lift the pen in the first place, in no particular order...

. Or should I say Baz Lurhmann? - Or Claire Danes as Juliet? or watching a black man reinvent the Mercutio character, making it sing, dance, play and just the entire celebration of life, love and tragedy that is so perfectly captured in the production? Seriously, there should be a fund for Baz Lurhmann to adapt every play by the bard. I watched and thought 'I want to be a part of that, to make magic like that happen...'

"There's no word for 'maybe' in our language, you either do something or you do not” - Unfortunately I cannot remember where or when I read that. It physically hurts that I have no recollection... but it is what also fascinates me about language. Until there is a word that points to a thing, the thing cannot be discussed, developed, added to a collective consciousness... it essentially does not exist. When we write, we invent and reinvent the world... endlessly. I detest the term 'Wordsmith' but when I think of 'Blacksmith' and attach this meaning, this moulding of letters to create and cast something, to make it hard and tangible... it works.

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett - I was 11 or 12 and it was the first time I read something that made me laugh out loud. I stopped immediately, glancing over my shoulder in case the closest bully was there to affirm my social status as a nerd. The coast was clear. I read on and discovered I could be so thoroughly entertained, immersed in a word that did not exist, that had magic, wizards, half naked women, continents made of wax, witches that caught swinging blades with bare hands... all of this I could smell, touch and taste. The Lord of the Rings took it to the next level.

'My heart aches and a drowsy numbness pains'. John Keats wrote that - The first time I had my heart shattered by a girl, I was baffled. I did not believe such things actually had physical manifestations. I just knew I couldn't sleep and my chest felt cold. I went to the doctor the following day who pushed the stethoscope against my naked chest. Baffled that everything seemed fine, asked what had happened recently in my life. I mentioned casually, running out of ideas, that my lady and I had split up and the doctor laughed, told me that was the cause. The precision of the line by John Keats haunts me till this day... I regularly steal from him.

Mos Def A.k.a the rapper Yasiin Bey, and song 'Hip Hop' - The first line 'Speech is my hammer, bang the world into the shape, now let it fall...' ties everything above together and adds music to the equation, that fluid thing I try to trap in the poems that I write...

The Time Project.

1. Time Book Launch Lazy Gramophone Events Page 

2. Time Book Launch Facebook Page

3. View our Clock page (counting down to the release of Time)

4. An introduction to Time

5. Contributors' Five Things Journal Posts:
Adam Green
Bryn Hall
Inua Ellams
Zoe Catherine Kendall
Andrew Walter
Laura Dockrill
Mat Lloyd
Sorana Santos
Will Conway
Hannah Stephenson
Matt Black
Claire Fletcher
Carl Laurence
- Zophiel Webb
Jude Melling
Stacie Withers
Tom Hirons
Megan Leonie Hall
Vincent J Prince
Kaitlin Beckett
Guy J Jackson
Eliza Gregory
Jeannie Paske
Jo Tedds
Maria Drummey
Tom Harris
Liz Adams
Lola Dupre
Kirsty Allison
Alexander Aspinall
Paul Bloom

6. Buy Time from the Lazy Gramophone Shop 

7. Press/Reviews
(Click the links below to read each article in full)

Huffington Post:
'An intriguing book project from one of the most innovative groups of creative people in the city.' ~ Huffington Post

Fabric Magazine:
'...we'll bet you've never seen time as it's portrayed in this stunning new publication.' ~ Fabric Magazine

Rooms Magazine:
'Time is a treasure box brimming with creativity and fresh talent.' ~ Rooms Magazine

Annexe Magazine:
'Lazy Gramophone's anthology, Time, lives up to the high bar it sets for itself.' ~ Annexe Magazine


For more on The Time Project tweet us @lazygramophone or #TheTimeProjectLGP or visit our Time Facebook page.
Tags for this post: Inua Ellams, 5 Things, Lazy Gramophone, Time, Phaze.

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Title: The Time Project - Lazy Gramophone Press
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