African Writing Upsurge Commendable

I am not even going to get into the names today, but I feel good about the upsurge in Africa’s literary creativity. Nigeria seems to continue to lead in this literary explosion, but I have also noticed notable works from Kenya, Zimbabwe (my home!), South Africa, and other places. Zambia recently clinched the Africa region Commonwealth Short Story Competition, while my blogging friend Molara Wood, and one or two South Africans received commendations. The diaspora is contributing a lot as well, with blockbuster names like Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the highly promising Zimbabwean Valerie Tagwira and other names.

In the poetry scene I have seen much growth in small-press publishing, and I ask everyone to watch Thamsanqa Ncube, Cosmas Mairosi, Uche Peter Umez, Maxwell Mutami, and many more emergent voices.

What I haven’t seen much of is creative non-fiction or the sometimes lucrative memoir-writing genres. Perhaps the African diaspora will start telling its non-fiction stories? Can someone publishe letters between mother and son/daughter talking about Western Union or Moneygram dialogues, or the dizzying changes ‘back home’, etc ?

News at Munyori Poetry Journal

Starting with the November 15 issue. Munyori Poetry Journal is now featuring a news page to enable the editor to post writing news. Have a reading coming up soon? Know of a writing conference happening or scheduled to happen soon? Attended an writing event and you want to report on it? Feel free to send your news items to in the body of an email.

Remember, Munyori Poetry Journal accepts submissions all year round in poetry, author profiles and interviews, book reviews and anything interesting.

Submit Your Writings to Cosumnes River Journal

Are you a writer?
A photographer?
Please consider contributing your creative work to the annual edition of the Cosumnes River Journal

We want your:
• short stories
• essays, including autobiographical narrative, criticism, interviews, + mini essays (of up to 250 words including the following phrase: I never told anyone this before)
• poems
• one-act plays
• art (b + w photos)

We are committed to publishing
emerging + established writers, including
Cosumnes River College students,
faculty, staff, + the rest of the world

Email you submission to:

Please forward your contributions to Heather at

Shimmer Chinodya Reaches New Literary Heights

The Zimbabwean reports that Shimmer Chinodya has won the 2007 Noma Award for his 2006 novel Strife. The news source reveals,” The jury described the book as: ‘Brilliant … powerful and haunting story notably innovative … a new dimension in African writing.

‘Chinodya reverses the traditional relationship between family and nation, concentrating on the social energies in an African family, rather than the individual or the nation. The novelist’s psychological sensitivity illuminates the dominant themes of disease and death; and the constant tension between the pull of the past and the aspiration of modernity is expressed in a prose that makes everything original and new, recasting old themes,'”

“Chinodya is one of Zimbabwe’s most celebrated post-independence literary writers. He won The Commonwealth Writers Prize, Africa region in 1990, for his critically acclaimed novel, Harvest of Thorns and has published eight novels, children’s books, educational texts, radio and film scripts, and has contributed to numerous anthologies,” reports The Zimbabwean, which describes the Weaver press-published novel, Strife,exploring ” the powerful draw that conflicting ideologies exercise over an emerging middle-class that at once yearns for autonomy and unconsciously desires the irresponsibility of an all-pervading destiny.”

Wealth of Ideas congratulates Chinodya for this $10 000, 00 recognition.

Evolving Munyori

I am in the process of selecting works to include in the next issue of Munyori. I have received many high-quality poems, but I am still looking for material to include in the author interview/profile section. If you would like to participate in the interview process, please submit your works, and indicate that you are available for interviewing.

The November 15 issue will feature returning poets Shilla Mutamba, Jeanpaul Ferro, Mary Ann Sullivan, and Michael Lee Johnson. New poems from Maxwell Mutami, Thamsanqa Ncube, Joan Sithole, Andrew David King, Abbey Khambule and more…

Great interviews, new insights, and an attractive design.