Zimbabwean poetry in Chinese

phillippa_yaa_de_villiersHARARE - Chinese readers can now take delight in African poetry in an anthology called No Serenity Here published this month, with Chinese translations of works from 26 African poets selected from 12 African countries, including Zimbabwe. (Pictured: Ph

The anthology is the result of a project supported by the Jiang Nan Art and Design Foundation and the Moonchu Foundation that engaged Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, a gifted performance poet and actress from South Africa, Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre, a German literary figure and Xino Kaiyu, a Chinese poet, to undertake the Chinese translation of African poetry written in five languages, Amharic, English, French, Arabic and Portuguese. The three are the main editors of this book.

The Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, South Africas National Poet Laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile, Veronique Tadjo (Cote dIvoire), and Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana) are some of Africas literary elders gracing the anthology while from Zimbabwe, the anthology is blessed with the poetry of internationally acclaimed Chirikure Chirikure, Joyce Chigiya, a poet of note, Amanda Hammar, a Zimbabwean Professor of African Studies at Copenhagen University and Beaven Tapureta who belongs to the new generation of writers in Zimbabwe. Internationally renowned performance poets such as Lebo Mashile (South Africa), Tjawangwa Dema (Botswana) and Shailja Patel from Kenya also hog the books pages.

This anthology was created in a desire to offer an experience of Africa through poetry to the Chinese people, writes one of the editors, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, in the Preface to the anthology. Phillipa Yaa de Villiers warns the reader, You will not find serenity between the pages; you will find voices struggling, laughing, weeping, voices that are alive, roaring, and whispering as they enrich the worlds song by adding their voices.

Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, who is also representative editor of Zimbabwe Poetry International, played an instrumental role in contacting the four Zimbabwean poets in No Serenity Here (ISBN 978-7-5012-3895-8) for the project.

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