Author and Illustrator Visit: Esseboe Kwami Nyamidie and Pamela Christiansen

Esseboe Kwami Nyamidie has recently published this story for young readers is lovingly illustrated by Pamela Christiansen that will entertain both child and adult alike.

Esseboe and Pam answered a few questions for us.



  1. What is your motivation in creating this book? 

    Night Critters Play is a poem I really love. It is from my earlier book of poems, Ready for your love and other poems.  As a book project, it began eight years ago when I discovered the work of Pamela B. Christiansen. She is a printmaker and art teacher on Bainbridge Island here in the Pacific Northwest. It took Pam several months to illustrate the poem. Then I left it. I revived the project when my partner Michele Plumb Stowell was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In addition to the chock of the news come a sense of powerlessness and death staring you in the face. I decided to revive this one of my book projects in her honor and claim a measure of agency in the situation.
  2. Death has been a major motivation in your writings.

    Yes, it has. I began to write poems seriously in my sophomore year in high school. A brilliant student called Anthony Dzodzoe died during the Christmas holidays. I thought that if he could die as a teenager, then the potential for me to die is always there. Poetry became a tool for me to immortalize myself and my subjects. 
  3. Ready for your love came out in 2004. When are you coming up with a new book of poems?

    I have been engaged in other creative activities since then.  Thirst No More A Fable of Hope and Forgiveness came out in 2017. I have several fiction and nonfiction projects going on. I am also working on a collection of poems that continue to address the problem of death and our human condition. This will be coming out in the next few years.
  4. What will children like about Night Critters Play?

    The book is layered with different meanings and the illustrations have hidden images. Different readers will take different things from it. The hope is that parents and educators will use this as a springboard to introduce children to another way of looking at the natural world. More than anything, Night Critters Play is a meditation on the environment. I also hope that parents and educators will understand the extraordinary skill and energy poured into creating the illustrations and appreciate their depth, beauty, and uniqueness.
  5. Who are the poets that influence your poetry? 

    It’s difficult for me to list all the poets that influence me. I discovered Emily Dickerson in high school. From her, I learned that poetry needs not be complicated to be deep. I studied the John Donne and the metaphysical poets. Charles Baudelaire, considered the consultant poet, has echoes in my writings. I read all the poetry books in the African Writers Series when I was younger so I have all of these influences in my poems in varying degrees.


  1. Tell use about the beautiful illustrations. How did you make them?

    The illustrations are monotypes. Monotyping is a technique that generally yields only one good impression from preparing a plate and running it through a printmaking press one or many times. Monotypes are prized because of their unique textural qualities. They are made by drawing on glass or a smooth plate with printer’s ink.
  2. How long did it take you to do the illustrations?

    Several months
  3. Where else can people find you?

    I illustrated Seasoned with Gratitude, a cookbook, by Kathryn Lafond.  These plates are pen and ink drawings and gouache paintings.

You can pick up this lovely book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

You can find out more about Esseboe at his website:

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

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