University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: January 2016
Features: Foreword, author's note
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Poetry/Rwanda/Genocide
Subject(s): POETRY / African, POETRY / Canadian, POETRY / Women Authors, Poetry/Rwanda/Genocide
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Juliane Okot Bitek. Writer Juliane Okot Bitek is a PhD Candidate with the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver. Some of her essays and creative writing can be found at

Cecily Nicholson.

"Bitek’s ability to connect with the beauty and pain of human suffering seems supernatural, this ability to give voice to those who seem to have no voices. Bitek wrote this book with her blood and it shows.... Bitek is a gifted seer, she sees tomorrow with a sweet but earthy, guttural voice, voice of the masquerade.... [Bitek] takes the reader to places in the heart that the writer never intended or imagined. That is powerful, how she makes 100 Days a deeply personal journey to each reader." [Full post at]

Ikhide R. Ikheloa,, Reading and Writing... Loudly,

Bitek’s poems are fierce, directly straightforward and unrelenting, composing her poems in an unadorned manner that increase in tension through the accumulation.... Part of what makes the collection so engaging is in the way she focuses on intimate spaces and details, refusing to utilize the form for a simple re-telling of history (which, frustratingly, so many poets tend to do) but engaging the smaller moments. The witness here is personal and deeply felt, even when she writes on large abstracts, proclaiming in broad gestures, exploring through the lyric a human tragedy so brutal and extensive that it becomes unfathomable." [Full post at]

rob mclennan

"The 'Hundred Days' from April to July 1994 witnessed one of the great genocides of the twentieth century and all while the world looked on and did nothing..... The poetry of Juliane Okot Bitek takes you through its villages and churches and lost innocence, relationships where time was measured out in machete strokes and words that made light of indifference and nothing to tie it to but days and the chattering of birds and bayonet sticks and the awful brutality of it all. There are no epiphanies here, no wise men to make sense of it, no Christian sacrifice or saviours, only the memories and a poet who wrote them out for one hundred days lest we forget." Full post at

"[H]ow could an event so terrible birth a myriad of powerful words so beautiful in their execution... 100 Days is a deserving tribute to a time when humanity forgot what it meant to be human. Reading the poetry collection is a humbling experience." [Full review at]

Sydney Mugerwa, Writivism

"The poems... engage traumatised personal memory, suspect the objectivity of official discourse and explore the complications involved in forging a new future. This collection, therefore, does not only add to the ever-growing library of contemporary African poetry, but it does so in ways that will further the postcolonial conversations around nationhood, security and interethnic conflicts as they cross paths with ideas of autochthony, place, displacement and ecological interests in twenty-first century Africa." [Full review at] 

Douglas E. Kazé, Transnational Literature

'"In 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide..." []

"Bitek’s absolutely-must-read 100 Days, [is] an astonishing debut poetry collection.... Pieces are stark and plangent with simple concrete imagery and sensory detail.... The book furthers the sense of relentlessness never-ending, one day as horror-filled as the one before or the next. The University of Alberta Press has produced a tall, beautiful book.... While specific, the book’s range is far-reaching." Canadian Literature, Spring/Summer 2016 [Full review at]

Crystal Hurdle, Canadian Literature

AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, Book – Poetry and Literature, United States
AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show, Book – Jackets & Covers, United States
Pat Lowther Award (The League of Canadian Poets), Canada
INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Poetry), United States
Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes), Canada
Canadian Authors Award for Poetry (Canadian Authors Association), Canada
ISBNs: 9781772121216 978-1-77212-121-6 Title: 100 days ISBNs: 9781772121520 978-1-77212-152-0 Title: 100 days ISBNs: 9781772121537 978-1-77212-153-7 Title: 100 days ISBNs: 9781772121544 978-1-77212-154-4 Title: 100 days