Edited by Tinashe Mushakavanhu
& David Nettleingham
About the Book:
State of the Nation glimpses across generations to bring together 30 Zimbabwean poets in the first dedicated anthology for over two decades. In Zimbabwe, the art of conversation had become steadily harder, paralysed by political wrangling. Unasked questions, unstated views, unattainable dreams and unfulfilled promises have all been part of the formulae of a failed government. But through this decline the driving need for self-expression has remained, and found an opening on the page. The poets in this anthology burst out with a certainty and an urgency which scream – it must be told, it must be told!
“Poets Tinashe Mushakavanhu and David Nettleingham have done well to put together the first major anthology of Zimbabwean poets writing in English since And Now The Poets Speak.” – Memory Chirere
“This is a poetry in transition, formed largely out of opposition to the status quo — whether that be colonialism or the present tyranny — always juggling the needs of the individual with that of the nation. It makes for an edgy, sometimes bleak, sometimes sorrowful and sometimes fiercely funny poetry.” – Steven Waling in Horizon Review
“It is both a rallying cry and a shot across the bows of Zimbabwe’s state-controlled media – but also of those publishers who… have too often overlooked Zimbabwe’s poets in favour of its more marketable short story” – James Graham in the Postcolonial Studies Association Newsletter
“one of the best books of poetry published in the UK in the last several years… Tinashe and David are gifted editors” – Todd McEwen
Contributors: Julius Chingono, John Eppel, Charles Mungoshi, Dambudzo Marechera, Chenjerai Hove, Amanda Hammar, Kristina Rungano, Jennifer Armstrong, Nhamo Mhiripiri, J. Tsitsi Mutiti, Emmanuel Sigauke, Christopher Mlalazi, Josephine Muganiwa,Ignatius Mabasa, Phillip Zhuwao, Tinashe Muchuri, Ruzvidzo Mupfudza, Zvisinei Sandi, Rumbi Katedza, Masimba Biriwasha, Togara Muzanenhamo, Batsirai Chigama,Beaven Tapureta, Cosmas Mairosi, NoViolet Bulawayo, Emmanuel Sairosi, Kudzai Ndanga, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Michael Tsingo & Abel Dzobo.
She was harbouring a dissident in her womb;
they unseamed her with a bayonet;
it dangled from her umbilicus
like a jolly-jumper.
And the doves sang:
Little children of “traitors”,
transformed by heavy blows -
they use branches, batons, iron bars -
to pumpkins about to spill their seeds.
And the hornbills cry:
- John Eppel
186 page paperback
Language: English, some Shona
Publication Date: 24.10.2009