Jumoke Verissimo (born 26 December 1979 in Lagos) is a Nigerian poet and writer. Her critically-acclaimed first book, I Am Memory, has won some literary awards in Nigeria. Some of her poems are in translation in Italian, Norwegian, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Macedonian.
Jumoke was born in Lagos. She has a master’s degree in African studies (performance) from the University of Ibadan and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the Lagos State University. She has worked as an editor, sub-editor, copywriter and a freelance journalist for major newspapers such as The Guardian and NEXT. Jumoke currently lives in Canada with her daughter, where she is studying for a PhD.
The Peoples Daily describes her collection as “a bold stance of pain and other emotions, filtering through the pores of gross indifference and achieving a communal cry of retrospective protest.” The Punch also describes her as, “one of those who will change the face of literature in Nigeria”, after her first book, which was well-received across the country. Her works have appeared in Migrations (Afro-Italian), Wole Soyinka ed., Voldposten 2010 (Norway), Livre d’or de Struga (Poetes du monde, sous le patronage de l’UNESCO) and many other prints and online magazines. Some of her poems are in translation in Italian, Norwegian, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Macedonian. Veissimo’s 2019 novel, A Small Silence (Cassava Republic) was selected as the winner of the Aidoo-Snyder Prize for best original creative work. According to the awards committee, A Small Silence is impressive for several reasons: its moving portrait of post-traumatic stress disorder, its believable point of view, its connections to real-world problems, its engaging depictions of everyday life, its lyrical style, and its sense of humor.