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Poet Chigama back with new anthology

POET and author Batsirai Chigama, pictured, will this Friday unveil her new and second collection of poems titled: For Women Trying to Breathe and Failing.

The launch is set for ELA the Garden in Newlands, Harare.

Chigama told the Daily News yesterday that the book was inspired by struggles in the life of a woman.

“It is life through the eyes of a woman, be it a mother, sister, wife, aunt, daughter. It is a woman’s world view on life. It is a vast story, not limited to and about women only.  It is everyone’s story,” Chigama said.

Chigama, who thrust into the limelight with her first book: Gather the Children, is a force to reckon with within the poetry scene.

Fellow poet Ethel Kabwato, in a blurb, described Chigama’s new effort as deeply rooted in the past, the present and the future.

“It is a poetic survival manual guide for a 21st Century citizen trapped in the deep end. The poet draws on her experience and passion as a spoken word artist to speak on behalf of the citizen.

“She reminds us to be conscious of the voices on the street where we live, the voices of family and friends … and the silent voices yearning to breathe again and exhale. Chigama’s rich, timeless poetry is a remarkable achievement and an important contribution to our education,” she said.

Chigama’s work is featured in over 15 poetry anthologies in the country and abroad in places such as the United States, Italy and New Zealand, among others.

In 2002, she made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean to take part in the Italian Nosside World Poetry competition, where she won a gong.

The Nama award-winning artist, who attended the International Writers Programme (IWP) in lowa, United States in 2019, was appointed the Woman Scream Poetry International coordinator for Zimbabwe in 2014.

One of her poems, Bring Back Our Girls, in which she was calling for the safe return of the missing Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram, was featured on BBC Africa.