The ‘Niger Delta region’ has become notable in Nigerian literature as a result of issues arising from resource extraction, conflict and environmental degradation. When one imagines the extent of damages in this region, one is therefore not taken aback by the number of literary works beaming their searchlights towards such a direction. Writers like Tanure Ojaide, J.P Clark, Habila Helon, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Sophia Obi, Obari Gomba, Nnimmo Bassey, G’Ebinyo Ogbowei etc. are notable voices in this regard. The Niger Delta region has in recent times suffered from the ugly hands of oil spillages resulting to discharge of poisonous and hazardous substances into water sources, forests, soil, and human settlements. Sadly, the crude oil that ought to have been a source of ‘tears of joy’ has become a plague in the region; an oily tears of the Delta. The paper therefore attempts a connection between literature (in this case poetry) and the environment through Ibiwari Ikiriko’s Oily Tears of the Delta. The collection delves into the issues of oil spillage and its resultant effects on the landscape and therefore advocates a new way of looking at Niger Delta literature from the standpoint of human damages done on environment and not the other way round. The poet is fearless in his poetic inputs and adopts a stance worthy of commendation. This paper adopts an ecocritical approach since ecology as a study transcends all boundaries and enjoys a handful of representations in literature.

Keywords: Ecocriticism, Niger Delta, Devastation, Ecopoetry, Environment, oil

Click here to download file

Wisdom C. Nwoga is a teacher, dramatist, and poet. He is a post-graduate researcher whose interests are in African Literature and Greek drama. He holds a BA(ed) in English and Literature from the Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.