Following the publication of ‘a dua for the masses’ as our Poem of the Week on September 28th, we received several allegations of plagiarism against the apparent author, Redscar McOdindo K’Oyuga.
It was immediately clear that ‘a dua for the masses’ reproduced phrases and ideas from an untitled poem by Zanzooba Magdoos published in The Feminist Wire (and also circulated widely by, for example, in progress, Patheos, Badass Muslimahs, and the Islamic Alliance for Justice). Given the seriousness of the allegations, we wanted to give Redscar McOdindo K’Oyuga a chance to present his case before withdrawing the poem in question or issuing a public statement.
Unfortunately, subsequent investigations by our editors have left us with little doubt that Redscar McOdindo K’Oyuga is a serial plagiarist. In the last month alone, Redscar’s blog has published at least three poems plagiarised (typically with only minor alterations) from the work of other poets. In each case, the original poem belonged to a female writer of colour.
A poem by Hamdi Khalif entitled ‘Her Value Lies in Her Vagina’ (originally posted on December 4th, 2015) was plagiarised without acknowledgement on Redscar’s personal blog in September 2016.
A version of another Hamdi Khalif poem, ‘Pain and Pleasure’ (originally posted on September 16th, 2015), also appeared on Redscar’s blog in the same month.
A plagiarised version of Chandini Santosh’s ‘From This Side of the Border’ (first published in the Bangalore Review, November 2013) appeared on Redscar’s blog in the same week. Access to the blog has subsequently been restricted.
It seems likely that further research will reveal additional incidences of plagiarism, and we feel that we’ve been left with no option other than to make this information public. Further action will follow after careful consultation with the writers and editors involved.