Writers to meet over new curriculum

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Writers Association (Zwa) has invited the Zimbabwe Publishing House (ZPH) to give a presentation on their current call for manuscripts in line with the new syllabus on Saturday at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair offices in the Harare Gardens.

Zwa chairperson Musaemura Zimunya told the Daily News yesterday that they have decided to dedicate their first bi-monthly of the year to explore opportunities that the new curriculum presents to writers.

“We want the ZPH platform to sell their potentially revolutionary three-year general reading publication project to authors which has the potential to reshape local publishing going forward,” he said.

In addition to ZPH presentation, to be delivered by the publishing company’s head, Blazio Tafireyi, the highly anticipated Zwa bi-monthly meeting also includes discussions led by members of the late writer Sam Chimsoro’s family.

The late poet and novelist, who wrote in both English and Shona, wrote books which included the novels Nothing is Impossible, Dama Rekutanga, Smoke and Flames, Hovhiyo neHowa and the 1978 poetry collection Smoke and Flames.

Zimunya has described the late novelist and poet as largely “secretive and enigmatic”.

“Most followers of Zimbabwean literature first came across the works of Samuel Chimsoro in his first collection of poetry entitled Smoke and Flames published in 1978 by Mambo Press.  However, this eminent Zimbabwean poet had been operating under the radar for close to a decade and half from the late 60s until then, writing and refining his craft almost entirely out of the public view.

“To him it mattered little whether he got mentioned or published in the then prevailing platforms such as Chirimo Poetry Magazine, Two Tone or Rhodesian Poetry.  For him, it never seemed to matter to enter his poetry for the so many competitions on offer, whether English or Shona,” said the Zwa chairperson.

Zimunya is keen to see more literary scholars and critics putting the spotlight on the late writer.

“It is remarkable that Chimsoro has not found academic challengers who have the courage to tackle this most gifted of poetic craftsmen to have emerged from our midst.

“One supposes that part of the fear of tackling this author arises from the tragedy that he has left no record of any interview — audio or press — that may help to unlock his artistic journey, his modus operandi, his beliefs or his vision.

“So, we are stuck with word puzzles whose references are not always accessible and remain as obstinately secret and private as Chimsoro’s personality.  So obstinately clandestine that even his family could find only one photo of a remarkably cheerful face — as though it was stolen at an unguarded moment — which is at odds with the picture of an intractable man we are left with,” he said.

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