Nigerian Writer and Publisher Nnorom Azuonye Passes On, Aged 56

Photo sourced from Molara Wood’s Twitter.

Prominent Nigerian writer and publisher Nnorom Azuonye has passed on at the age of 56. He died on January 21, 2024.

Azuonye’s passing is a great loss to the African literary community. He was a publisher, theater director, playwright, poet, and Methodist Preacher. He was the founder of Sentinel Poetry Movement and publisher of magazines Nollywood Focus, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Sentinel Nigeria and Sentinel Champions. The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) shared a condolence message with NaijaTimes, in which they remarked that “the creative world has lost a great soul.”

The association’s president Dr. Usman Akanbi added that Azuonye’s legacy will forever be remembered within African literary circles:

The news was as devastating as it was shocking to learn of the passing of the perfect gentleman. Nnorom Azuonye was a lover and promoter of literature. . .As a talented and enterprising soul, Nnorom gave his best towards the advancement of literary creativity and more. He provided Nigerian literature and writers enabling platforms to showcase their art, and the Sentinel was one of such.

Born July 12, 1967, Nnorom Azuonye was born in Enugu and was a native of Isuikwuato, Abia State of Nigeria. He was the youngest son of Stephen Onyemaechi Azuonye and Hannah Egwuime Azuonye. He studied at Government College Umuahia, Capital College in London, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied Dramatic Arts. He married Thelma Amaka Azuonye in 2006. They lived in London, United Kingdom, with their children Arinzechukwu, Nwachiamanda, Obinna, and Ugochukwu.

Azuonye’s published books include Letter to God & Other Poems (2003), The Bridge Selection: Poems for the Road (2005 & 2012), Blue Hyacinths (2010; edited with Geoff Stevens), Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (2011; edited with Unoma Azuah and Amanda Sington-Williams), Funeral of the Minstrel (2015), The Genesis of Falcon (2015). He has also been published internationally in journals, newspapers, and anthologies.

However, he made the biggest impact within African literary publishing. He was the Publishing Director and Chief Executive Officer for SPM Publications Ltd. In 2002, he founded the Sentinel Poetry Movement, an international community of writers and artists serving as a publishing resource for poetry, fiction, drama, essays, interviews, and reviews of the arts. He was the Managing Editor of Sentinel Literary Quarterly, a magazine of world literature published by Sentinel Poetry Movement. He was also the publisher of Sentinel Nigeria magazine, an online magazine of contemporary Nigerian writing.

We are deeply saddened by the news of Azuonye’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, and above all, we celebrate his life as he joins the ancestors.

May his soul rest in peace as his legacy continues to impact African literature and publishing. Below, we have put together a collection of Twitter tributes to Azuonye, shared by his friends, colleagues, and writers he impacted through his publishing efforts.

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Farewell Messages to Nnorom Azuonye (1967-2024)

(By Alphabetical Order)


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