Amabooks releases poetry collection

BULAWAYO - Writers Togara Muzanenhamo and John Eppel have come up with a poetry collection titled Textures which has been published by Bulawayo-based AmaBooks Publishers.

The new collection by the two highly-regarded Zimbabwean poets has also been released internationally through the African Books Collective.

AmaBooks co-director Brian Jones told the Daily News that his organisation had been working on the collection for some time.

“The poets have a mutual respect for each other’s work and were keen on the idea of bringing out a book of their poetry,” said Jones.

He is convinced that the just-released collection will have a wider appeal due to the two contributors’ ability to tackle universal themes such as love, loss, life and death.

Before contributing to Textures, Eppel, a prolific writer of both prose and poetry, collaborated with popular poets like Philani Nyoni and the late Julius Chingono. The 67-year-old Bulawayo-based school teacher published his first poems in the 1960s, in Two Tone, and with his first collection, Spoils of War, being published in 1989.

Eppel won the Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry for Spoils of War, and the M-Net prize for his first novel, D G G Berry’s The Great North Road. His second novel, Hatchings, was chosen by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the most significant books to have come out of Africa.

His other novels are The Giraffe Man, The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, The Holy Innocents, Absent: The English Teacher, Traffickings and The Boy Who Loved Camping while his poetry collections include Sonata for Matabeleland, Selected Poems: 1965-1995 and Songs My Country Taught Me.

Textures is another feather in the cap for the versatile 39-year-old Muzanenhamo who has published two

poetry collections in the United Kingdom.

His poems have appeared widely in international magazines, journals and anthologies. In 2006, his debut collection of poems, Spirit Brides, was published by Carcanet Press and shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. 

The Times Literary Supplement hailed him as a young writer of solid distinction.

Two years ago Muzanenhamo was chosen to represent Zimbabwe at Poetry Parnassus in London where he rubbed shoulders with Seamus Heaney, Kim Hyesoon, Kay Ryan and Wole Soyinka.

His second collection, Gumiguru, was published by Carcanet Press.

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