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Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000–2018

Quaz | Jul 24th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Our Words, Our Worlds : Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000-2018 is an anthology compiled and edited by Poet, anthropologist and writer Makhosazana Xaba. Recently launched by UKZN Press this anthology boasts views and reflections from over twenty women, (including poetry potion founder duduzile zamantungwa mabaso) who have been active participants and pioneers in the South African poetry scene.

This groundbreaking, multi-genre anthology answers the question: what did the literary landscape look like in South Africa at the start of the twenty-first century? It documents a slice of this landscape by bringing together the writings of over twenty contributors through literary critique, personal essays and interviews. The book tells the story of the seismic shift that transformed national culture through poetry and is the first of its kind to explore the history and impact of poetry by Black women, in their own voices. It straddles disciplines: literary theory, feminism, history of the book and politics – thus decolonising literary culture.

Makhosazana Xaba

Our Words, Our Worlds covers expansive reflections: from the international diplomacy-transforming poem, ‘I Have Come to Take You Home’ by Diana Ferrus, to the pioneering publisher duduzile zamantungwa mabaso; from the self-confessed closeted poet Sedica Davids, to the fiery unapologetic feminist Bandile Gumbi; from the world-renowned Malika Ndlovu, to the engineer and award-winning Nosipho Gumede; from the formidable foursome Feela Sistah, to feminist literary scholars V.M. Sisi Maqagi and Barbara Boswell. The collective contributions are a testimony to the power of creativity and centrality of poetry in a changing society. This book is an assertion of Black women’s intellectual prowess and – as Gabeba Baderoon puts it – black women’s visions of ‘a world made whole by their presence’.

Contributors are: Gabeba Baderoon, Barbara Boswell, Sedica Davids, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Diana Ferrus, Vangi Gantsho, Bandile Gumbi, Nosipho Gumede, Myesha Jenkins, Ronelda Sonnet Kamfer, duduzile zamantungwa mabaso, Makgano Mamabolo, Napo Masheane, Lebogang Mashile, V.M. Sisi Maqagi, Mthunzikazi Mbungwana, Natalia Molebatsi, Qhakazambalikayise Thato Mthembu, Tereska Muishond, Malika Ndlovu, Maganthrie Pillay, Toni Stuart, Makhosazana Xaba.

 

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