Tsitsi Jaji headlines two poetry gigs in Harare

Langalakhe Mabena

 United States of America-based renowned poet Tsitsi Jaji is set to hold two poetry events in Harare that will be centred on sharing poetry, building community, and improving poetic expression.

 These events, a poetry reading which will take place on 6 July at Alliance Française and a poet’s workshop to be held on 11 July, at Afrotopia Cafe, situated at the National Gallery in Bulawayo, promise to be enriching experiences for poetry enthusiasts and aspiring writers alike.

 “After the announcement of the two events on social media last week, the registration number was inundated with requests from poets wanting to find out more information.

 “We are almost fully booked for the workshop,” said Batsirai Chigama, co-founder of the Zimbabwe Poets Society which is organising the two events.

 “The first event will be the reading, which will take place tomorrow from 6 pm to 8 pm at Alliance Française. All members of the public are cordially invited to attend this engaging evening of verse and literary expression.

 “The event will begin with a discussion between Jaji and fellow poet, Tariro Ndoro. 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,” said Chigama.

 With the poetry workshop slated for 11 July, the workshop is offered free of charge.

 Jaji said the workshop was intended to be a space of fellowship.

 “ Our approach will be anchored by page poetry but will resonate with poets of all stripes—written, spoken word, and so on. 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.”

 “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,” said Jaji.

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