Funmi Coker’s Debut Poetry Collection: A Life Manual for the Girl-Child

Nigerian Poet and Writer, Funmi Coker signals her arrival on the literary scene with a strong debut walking in the big shoes of women who have shone like a million stars while advocating for the rights of the girl-child.


April 10, 2021. United Kingdom—A poetry collection tagged as a life manual for the girl-child is set to capture attention from literary enthusiasts and book lovers alike. Nigerian poet and writer, Funmi Coker’s debut poetry collection hits the bookshelves today and has been described as a must-have for every girl-child.

Funmi Coker’s reputation as a girl-child and women’s rights activist is rising, and with this debut collection, she makes a bold statement that she is imbued with the charisma to not just talk, but walk the talk.

Synopsis of ‘Letter to Lilly’:

Call it a life manual for the girl-child and you wouldn’t be wrong. But Letter to Lilly goes beyond that. It is a collection of poems that preaches defiance against accepted order. In this collection, the poet wastes no time in declaring her intentions. In Burn she charged with a voice full of strength:

Burn, lady. Burn.

Fuel your aspirations

and deposit a refining fire in the

core of this crude scheme of things.

For centuries, the girl-child has been taught to play second fiddle, her roles relegated to home keeping and children grooming. But women like Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, Nina Simone, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and a host of others have always rebelled against that wrong order and inspired others to do the same. This is what the poet has done in this collection of fire and brimstone, telling every girl that will hold this collection that she is:

A unique gift from above,

a force to reckon with

and a sight to behold:

You are the budding flowers of the hibiscus,

the pride and hide of your land

and the reason your land is seasoned.

Beyond the concerns of the girl-child, this collection also delved into subjects like identity, race, and belief.

And its interesting thematic concerns aside, the poet managed to employ rich, flowery language in each poem with an avalanche of poetic elements gracing each line. The poet also has a rich palate for style.

In all, this is a collection of poems that every girl-child should own. It is a pamphlet that will embolden every reader to own her space, to make her voice heard in society, in her workplace… anywhere and everywhere.

Official Release Date: April 10,2021.

“I’ve always enjoyed the process and thinking that goes into great writing, I just didn’t think I would fit in right as an author. Growing up, self-acceptance wasn’t very easy for me, I always felt like I AM NOT ENOUGH for anything, I mean anything at all. LETTER TO LILLY is to inspire and encourage everyone, especially every girl child that practicing self-acceptance helps you to realise your qualities, both bad and good, and eases feelings of guilt and unhappiness. When we begin to accept who we are, we set ourselves up for improvement.” explains the author. 

Continuing, “Self-acceptance goes beyond tolerating the way you view yourself. It is accepting your behaviour, attitude and lifestyle, acknowledging them and working towards making a desired change. It includes accepting your body, protecting yourself against harsh criticism and believing in your capabilities. While practicing self-acceptance, you will uncover hidden gifts and talents that you didn’t know about yourself.” 

An Amazon Customer wrote, this is one of those collections that I could not put down until the last page was closed. An amazing collection, not just for girls and ladies. This is definitely worth a read by both sexes.

This is one of my favourite poetry collections of the year.

‘Letter to Lilly’ is available now: and

About the Author:

FUNMI COKER is a Nigerian poet and a graduate of Sociology from the University of Ilorin who is currently running a professional course with ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants). She was born in Lagos and has lived most of her life around Nigeria. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cooking, networking, and haunting local bookstores.

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