Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, a Kenyan poet recently shortlisted for the £3000 Brunel University African Poetry Prize for the second year running, will launch her new chapbook at a free event at the College on Monday, April 4. An important collection selected by editors Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, Dagoretti Corner forms part of the 2016 New-Generation African Poets Chapbook Box-Set published by Akashic Books in association with the African Poetry Book Fund.
The event will also feature readings from Raoul Fernendes, a current nominee for the 2016 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for his book Transmitter and Receiver, and Elee Kraljii Gardiner, founder and director of Vancouver’s Thursday’s Writing Collective, and author of Serpentine Loop, out this spring from Anvil Press.
The poems in Dagoretti Corner are informed by Mawiyoo’s travels in rural Kenya, where she lived with diverse families in the lead up to Kenya’s March 2013 General Election, the first since the widespread violence of 2008 following a disputed election. The collection pays close attention to the lives of parents and children navigating their lives in contemporary post-colonial Kenya, and Mawiyoo’s own concerns as a guest in the homes of strangers; the valuable lessons she learns about her own privilege, hospitality, and what it means to be a daughter.
Much of the work in Dagoretti Corner was prepared with the support of the Lee Tze Fong Memorial Fellowship, awarded to Mawiyoo while she was a graduate student at UBC.
A gifted performer, once referred to as “the high priestess of poetry,” this is a rare opportunity to see one of Kenya’s finest poets embody her words here in Vancouver. Do join us for this free event at Green College’s Coach House on Monday, April 4 from 5-6:30 pm. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.