Almost Island, the literary journal, has released its Monsoon 2021 issue.

The issue is edited by poet Togara Muzanenhamo and features the work of 7 Zimbabwean poets, including whooooooooooop!, one Iz Mazano.

Other poets in the issue are Batsirai ChigamaHope Masike, Tariro NdoroTendekai Tati, Tinashe Muchuri and Tsitsi Jaji.

I am super overjoyed to share the same space with these poets, many of whom I have known, watched and learnt from for many years.

Introducing the Monsoon 2021 issue, editor Sharmistha Mohanty, writes, “Almost Island has published the singular and accomplished work of Zimbabwean poet Togara Muzanenhamo over the past decade. He has also been a guest at the Almost Island Dialogues in 2019. For this issue we invited him to give us a glimpse of some contemporary poets from his country.

Togara, in his editorial, talks about the journey Zimbabwean poetry has taken in the years since Independence in 1980.

He writes, “Before the turn of the century – the previous generation of poets were primarily influenced by the language of various American and English poets – but they were also influenced by a handful of African poets writing with the same colonial concerns. Within the poems of Musaemura Zimunya, Charles Mungoshi, Julius Chingono, Chengerai Hove and Dambudzo Marechera – one can hear the echoes of many poets – from Charles Bukowski, to William Wordsworth to Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor.”

Introducing the poets whose work appears in the issue, Togara says, “The poets presented here express themselves with introspective and extroverted artistic worth and all write with a gaze on the country’s evolution. Five of the poets live permanently in Zimbabwe, but another textured feeling of the country is also provided by the outer-eye of the two who live abroad. As one generation of writers passes on to the next – the music of their words is something that pleases me greatly to share.”

Here are the poems I contributed to the issue.

Founded by prose writer Sharmistha Mohanty, Almost Island publishes two issues a year and is based in New Delhi, India.

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