‘A well-crafted and creatively satisfying anthology that often oozes with perfection.’
‘The voice, the craft, and mode of African, literary and poetic expression stimulates the senses in a unique way, rivalled by few others.’
‘A journey of wonder.’
The above are some of the comments by reviewers of Textures, the poetry collaboration between two of Zimbabwe’s foremost poets, John Eppel and Togara Muzanenhamo. The Harare launch is to take place at the Book Café on Thursday 21 May at 5.30pm.
The poets have both been recognized in awards – Eppel winning the Ingrid Jonker Award for Spoils of War, and Muzanenhamo being shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for Spirit Brides. The setting of Eppel’s poems is often suburbia or the Zimbabwe bush, whereas Muzanenhamo’s in this collection ranges from Mashonaland farmland to the Arctic wastes. As Australian writer and poet Fred Simpson writes in his review of Textures: ‘Their differences are obvious: one poet, grounded in Bulawayo, generally writes short, evocative, personal and structured poems to probe the subconscious and unearth, in heart-breaking beauty, penetrating truths; while the other, a citizen of the world, crafts longer narratives gathered from everywhere, and delivers them in spell-binding voice and imagery. Stepping back however, we see a pattern emerging, a collaboration that spurns the pettiness of competing poetry schools and prescribed content; we see a portrait of love which takes our breath away.’
Brian Jones, one of the directors of the Bulawayo-based publishers ’amaBooks, remarked: ‘We are thrilled to be publishing an anthology with the work of these two wordsmiths. John Eppel is a prolific writer in both prose and poetry and his work is well known in Zimbabwe. Togara Muzanenhamo is probably better known outside of Zimbabwe as he has had two volumes of poetry published in the United Kingdom. Both poets pay meticulous attention to their craft and we feel that the reader will appreciate their exploration of such universal themes as life and death, love and loss.’
Following the launch, Muzanenhamo heads off to Europe for a residency in Rotterdam and then participation in the United Kingdom’s Ledbury Poetry Festival in early July.
The Harare launch will feature selected readings from Textures by the poets and a conversation about their work with Ignatius Mabasa, himself a well known poet and prose writer in both English and Shona. Anyone interested in poetry is welcome to attend.Post published in: Arts