The Los Angeles Reading: Book Selections

Forever Let Me Go contains a taste of my poetry and Speaking for the Generations (AWP 2010) contains an excerpt from my short story “A Long Night”, set in Glen View 2, Harare.

The Los Angeles Event with Christopher Mlalazi is only one week, I know time will fly, so I thought I should start to prepare myself for the event. I have already selected the published works that I will carry, although I will take along some works in progress, like my selections from short story manuscripts. But here are the books I am carrying, from which I will read: Forever Let Me Go (poetry), African Roar (short stories), State of the Nation: Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry, Speaking for the Generations (short stories), and Charles Mungoshi’s The Setting Sun and the Rolling World.

African Roar (StoryTime 2010), State of the Nation (Conversation 2009), and The Setting Sun (Beacon Press 1989).

Chris and I will be reading our works and launching StoryTime’s African Roar at an event coordinated by Villa Aurora Los Angeles and Eso Won Bookstore. A band will be performing as well. Below are more details about the event.

Villa Aurora & Eso Won Bookstore present

an evening of stories, poetry, book launch of African Roar & music with
2010 Feuchtwanger Fellow Christopher Mlalazi, Zimbabwe
fellow Zimbabwean writer and editor Emmanuel Sigauke
& Judicanti Responsura
7PM on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at Eso Won Bookstore
4331 Degnan Boulevard, Los Angeles 90008

Villa Aurora’s 2010 Feuchtwanger Fellow, Zimbabwean writer Christopher Mlalazi’s two books, Dancing with Life (2008, amaBooks), a collection of short stories, Many Rivers (2009, Lion Press, Ltd., UK), a novel, and his latest play Election Day (2010), deal with the social and political disintegration of his native Zimbabwe. In 2008 he was co-awarded the OXFAM NOVIP PEN Freedom of Expression Award at the Hague, which he received with Raisedon Baya for their play The Crocodile of Zambezi. The Crocodile of Zambezi (2008), a satire of the Mugabe regime set in a fictional country along the Zambezi River, was officially banned and members of its cast and crew were harassed and beaten by state agents. Christopher Mlalazi’s work has received numerous honors and awards, including the ‘2009 Best First Published Creative Work, National Arts Merit Award in Zimbabwe’ for Dancing with Life: Tales from the Township, which also received the NOMA Award Honorable Mention(UK) in 2009; Many Rivers was shortlisted for the 2010 National Merit Award for Most Outstanding Book of Fiction. He has also published poetry in several international anthologies. Mr. Mlalazi has completed a new novel while in residence at Villa Aurora.

Emmanuel Sigauke grew up in Zimbabwe where his interest in writing began at the age of thirteen. He studied English, Shona, and Linguistics and graduated with a BA. From 1993 to 1996 he was the National Secretary of the Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ), an organization that has helped groom many contemporary Zimbabwean writers. Sigauke moved to California in 1996 and studied English at California State University Sacramento. He teaches composition, literature and creative writing at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, is a board member of the Sacramento Poetry Center, where he hosts poetry readings every second Monday, is the book review editor of the organization’s bi-monthly publication, Poetry Now, and is also the co-editor of the recently published African Roar: An Eclectic Collection of African Authors. Sigauke has also taught fiction workshops for the UC Davis Extension and in the Hart Senior Center Annual Writing Conference. His collection of poetry, Forever Let Me Go, appeared in 2008, and he has since published poetry in State of the Nation: Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry and in journals like Witness, One Ghana, One Voice, and others. His fiction has been published in online and print journals. He is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

JUDICANTI RESPONSURA is a Los Angeles based chamber music ensemble formed in 1984 by tubaist William Roper and percussionist Joseph Mitchell. They perform their own compositions and generate new works from area composers. They specialize in works incorporating Euro-Classical and African-American improvisational traditions. Judicanti’s repertoire ranges from purely musical compositions to multi-media, multi-disciplinary works. The group is represented on recordings released by the Asian Improv, Tomato Sage Consortium and Heliotrope Dreams labels. As individual artists they have worked with “The Lion of Zimbabwe” Thomas Mapfumo, the L.A. Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Elton John, Yusef Lateef, Anthony Braxton and many others.

African Roar: An Eclectic Anthology of African Authors is a fiction anthology drawn from the very best stories published from 2007-2009, in the StoryTime weekly literary ezine dedicated to publishing African writers. Between these covers you will find eleven stories that stand as a testament to the upsurge of talented African writers boldly utilizing the cutting edge of technology and the writing craft to be read globally. Spanning Africa and the African Diaspora in past, present and future, each story has a fresh and diverse vision that opens up new vistas of experience. From the lucid terrors of domestic violence through the eyes of a child, and the anguish of those left behind by a fleeing Diaspora, to a full circle, when the prey becomes the hunter and has the opportunity for revenge, and a dryly humorous look at what it’s like to lose a quarter of your brain, to name just a few of the treasures that lie within. Edited by Emmanuel Sigauke & Ivor W. Hartmann.

Villa Aurora, with its unique émigré history, is an artist residence and historic landmark located in the former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger. To promote and foster German-American cultural exchange and to remember the European exiles that settled in Southern California, Villa Aurora offers a variety of salon style arts and cultural programs, including public lectures, concerts, screenings and performances. Villa Aurora and the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library at USC jointly provide the Feuchtwanger Fellowship to writers, like Christopher Mlalazi who face persecution in their native countries.

ESO Won Books is more than a warehouse of reading materials. It is your personal gateway to inspiration, adventure, laughter, healthy living, social etiquette, history, and so much more. At Eso Won, you can count on friendly, down to earth personalized service. An Essential Los Angeles destination in the heart of historic Leimert Park, Eso Won has played host to a variety of authors from Presidents Obama and Clinton, intellectuals Michael Eric Dyson and Cornell West, to comedian Bill Cosby. Eso Won (African for “water over rocks”) is a living proverb as it provides fluid, safe, stirring opportunities that flow to a reservoir of knowledge for both the African and African American experience as well as any other topic you may wish to find.

Eso Won Bookstore (323-290-1048) is located
in the historic Leimerk Park neighborhood at:

4331 Degnan Boulevard, Los Angeles 90008west of Leimert Boulevard, east of Crenshaw Boulevard south of West 43rd Street & north of Leimert Plaza Park on West 43rd Place.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s