Tsitsi Jaji. Photo/Tendai Mufunde

Poet and scholar Tsitsi Jaji for Harare

Zimbabwean American poet and scholar Tsitsi Jaji is set to do a poetry reading and workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe on July 6 and 11, 2023.

Zimbabwe-born, USA-based Tsitsi Jaji has written the poetry collections Beating the Graves (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) and Mother Tongues (Northwestern University Press, 2019). The former received an honourable mention for the Sillerman Prize in 2015 while the latter won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Prize in 2019. Her chapbook Carnaval appeared in the first New Generation African Poets box set, (African Poetry Book Fund/Slapering Hol, 2014), and her poems have appeared in Jalada, New Coin, Bitter Oleander, Prairie Schooner, Black Renaissance Noire, Madison Review, ElevenEleven, and elsewhere. She has given readings at UNESCO, the Library of Congress, the United Nations, and the Poetry Foundation. She is an Associate professor of English at Duke University.

Tsitsi Jaji is set to do a Poetry Reading and a Poet’s Workshop in Harare this month. Here is more information for those who might want to participate;

Poetry Reading

Venue: Alliance Française, Harare
Date: Thursday, July 6, 6 – 8 pm

The Poetry Reading will begin with a discussion between Jaji and fellow poet, Tariro Ndoro. Ndoro, the author of Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner was the first editor of Ipikai, a poetry journal published by the Zimbabwe Poetry Society.

The two poets will reflect on writing as women from two different generations, as well as how they address diaspora/home dynamics and language as well as building platforms for African poetry locally and internationally. It will be followed by Jaji’s reading of poems from her published collections Mother Tongues and Beating the Graves.

Poet’s Workshop

Venue: Afrotopia Cafe, National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Date:  Tuesday, July 11, 10 am – 12 pm.

Poets new and experienced are invited to participate in this unique opportunity. As part of the registration process, participants are requested to submit one poem, and six to ten poems will be selected for in-depth workshopping. The workshop is offered free of charge.

Speaking about the workshop, Jaji said it was intended as a space of fellowship; “Our approach will be anchored by page poetry but will resonate with poets of all stripes—written, spoken word, etc. We will begin with a discussion of elements of craft including imagery, timing, and wordplay. We will also talk about feeding the imagination by reading widely, and how to access free poetry online.”

She said; “The poems selected for workshopping will be read, analyzed and reconceived collectively, not so much to ‘improve’ or ‘fix’ them but rather to investigate the range of choices and consequences open to poets on each draft. We will also touch upon options for seeking publication.”

To register for the workshop:

WhatsApp Batsi on 0712435519 Send one poem you would like to workshop.



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