Poetry is language at its most distilled and powerful

A Good Mourning

A Good Mourning

They would have her mind pots and pans,
or, not cooking, chained to a bedpost
with her braided chador and her hair.

They measured in square inches the distance
between her heart and the world
and would have her sing to empty cots and cans.

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A Nation in Labour

A Nation in Labour

A Nation in Labour is a multitude of voices, a collective protest against the present, and a stubborn belief in the possibility of new ways of being, in Uganda…the tone oscillates from anger to apathy, sometimes it is sarcastic, sometimes persuasive, yet there are times when it is dour and querulous and patronizing. But even then, there is a purpose in the voice, a galvanizing of support, a steely belief in the society’s ability to turn off the cliff and retrace its footsteps.”
– Richard Oduor Oduku (Poet/Writer, Jalada Africa);  Sooo Many Stories

KES600.00
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a river’s journey

a river’s journey

Amu Nnadi’s newest poetry offering, a river’s journey, spans 172 pages. The book is divided into four sections, each of which holds poems that are independent in their fullness and subject matters, but seem inter-connected, as though telling a story. The first section, which is called beginnings, starts with poems that have their roots in water. The poet introduces fresh perspectives about water, alluding them to the most basic things, in the most unexpected ways. The end product of this is that fresh metaphors and enchanting imagery emerge as one gets to see layers of the painting of water in the poems on its surface and how it gives the whole oeuvre a more contemplative meaning. Either way, they retain their depth and enchantment.

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A Side of Raunch

A Side of Raunch

Please
please me.
Don’t tease.
If you’re coming come in.
If you’re touching
touch there
if you’re loving me.
Love’s snare.
Don’t tease.
Please.

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A-Tributary-in-Servitude-Cover

A Tributary in Servitude

A Tributary in Servitude captures the complex struggles of a generation whose words have been silenced, whose rage and search for meaning have been quietened. Divided into six sections that trace the course of Africa’s servitude through a maze of histories, politics, social upheavals, prophesies and personal struggles; the poet deftly weaves metaphorical threads into a tapestry of songs that flow from different tributaries into the sea of universal existence.

The voices of Christopher Okigbo, Okot p’Bitek and Tchicaya U’Tamsi resonate in the collection as verse after verse is forcefully delivered in a language that bristles with elegance and ebullience. In A Tributary in Servitude, every line is heavy with promise. This is the sort of poetry that fills the reader with magic, music and awe.

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A Woman’s Body is a Country

Rated 4.00 out of 5

Dami Ajayi’s second volume of poems, A Woman’s Body is a Country, interrogates the ramifications of affection. A work of impressive artistry, these are poems of life turned inside out, where time cheats on writers, and the people and things at the brunt end of our oppressive pleasures come back to haunt us. Here is the poetry of the quotidian, a philosophic and profound interrogation of relationships, of words, of bodies and their burdens, of times and time.

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Akello

Akello

“A hauntingly beautiful collection of poems that evoke the joyful richness of life…Akello is the work of courage; solace.”
-Ndinda Kioko, writer, Miles Morland Fellow 2014

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Akello [ebook]

Akello [ebook]

“A hauntingly beautiful collection of poems that evoke the joyful richness of life…Akello is the work of courage; solace.”
-Ndinda Kioko, writer, Miles Morland Fellow 2014

KES600.00
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Bone

Rated 5.00 out of 5

From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a poignant collection of autobiographical poems about the heart, life, and the inner self.  Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.

The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.

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But Here Are Small Clear Refractions

But Here Are Small Clear Refractions

Ed Pavlic, SLS-Kenya permanent faculty member, has a new book out with Bard University Press: But Here Are Small Clear Refractions. Based on the dhow trip Ed took around the Kenyan Archipelago in 2006, together with Binyavanga Wainaina, Martin Kimani, Usama Goldstein, Mike Vazquez, Gary Dauphin, and YT, among several other people, the book features some seriously beautiful, powerful writing — and tells a fascinating story along the way.

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Clinical Blues

Clinical Blues is a moveable feasts of ideas, recollections, aspirations and apparition of desire in the collective consciousness of new Africa.
Shortlisted for the 2012 Melita Hume Prize in manuscript form, it has been shortlisted for the 2015 ANA Prize for Poetry.

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Collective Amnesia

Through grief and memory, pain and joy, sex and self-care, Collective Amnesia is a powerful appraisal, reminder and revelation of all that has been forgotten and ignored, both in South African society, and within ourselves.

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Cut off My Tongue

Cut off My Tongue

One of the most sobering and positive things to happen in Kenya in 2008, soon after the post-election violence, was “Cut Off My Tongue”. At a time of great tension and uncertainty, this dramatized poetry show ranted, provoked, inspired and broke into song and dance as it explored the truths that shape us as Kenyans: our beliefs, the way we behave and why.

Cut off My Tongue deals with interrelated stories about life in Kenya grouped around tribe and ethnicity, political critique, identity, tradition and genealogy. Although the main focus of the show is Kenya, the themes addressed cut across post-colonial Africa and the continent’s struggle to deal with the question of “Nation-State”. It was performed by a multi-racial cast to sold-out audiences in Kenya, Uganda and the UK (Hampstead Theatre, London and the Hay Festival 2009). It is moving, entertaining, brave and frighteningly honest. It is politics – and love – that bites as it teases. If you are African in mind, body or spirit, you must see “Cut Off My Tongue”!

Also in July 2015 , Cut off My Tongue by Sitawa Namwalie was performed at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Rwanda in memory of the 1994 genocide.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkHztyj8R4I[/embed]
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Dance Here

Dance Here

Dance Here is her third poetry collection, and the first one published in Nigeria. It includes and a section of elegies / grief songs for victims of violence, particularly in Jos, Maiduguri, Baga, and Chibok. All royalties from the first edition are staying in Nigeria in support of projects for children: feeding, literacy, acts of kindness to orphans in IDP camps and elsewhere.

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KĩHOTO MBERE – Marebeta ma Kanyong’i wa Rũgũcio

This is the first ever Kikuyu language poetry book. As such, it is bound to attract a lot of excitement, both at the literary and entertainment levels. The poems – known in Kikuyu as marebeta – are written in an everyday conversational tone. This makes them appealing to a wide range of Kikuyu readers. Indeed, scholars of literature, and even those not formally schooled, will find a common point of understanding in every poem. It is a textbook ideal for oral literature, and can be studied from primary schools to universities.

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Lilac Uprising

Lilac Uprising

The collection of 85 poems covers a ‘wonderfully varied, in terms of geography, theme and tone.

‘Phyllis Muthoni is an essential emergent Kenyan poet.  Her poetry is inspirational, one that gathers from everyday life, one that easily urges us to write on, for it makes every moment on earth extraordinary.  Her debut poetry collection, Lilac Uprising, delightful and helpful, is a text with the beauty of craft. ‘Soon,’ writes Phyllis, ‘the streets will be a revolution of colour, suffused with a tangible tenderness.’

 – Khainga Okwemba; Treasurer, PEN International (Kenya Chapter)
KES630.00
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Mines and Mind Fields

Mines and Mind Fields

The 114 paged book  by Njeri Wangarĩ – Wanjohi, a multi talented Kenyan poet and performer,, contains over 40 poems that explore themes on Urban Blues, Love, Identity, Traditions, Cultural changes, Exploitation and Politics among others. Though most of the poems are in English, there are a few in Kiswahili, Sheng and in Gĩkũyũ.

KES750.00
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Nectar

Nectar

Nectar is the second collection of poetry and prose by Malawian storyteller Upile Chisala. In this book, Upile guides through a beautiful process of blooming starting with some poems on self love then words on our roots followed by acknowledging all the fruit of these experiences. The storyteller’s hope is that these poems on growth encourage the reader to sow and to make changes in the lives of others. Born in 1994 and raised in Zomba, Upile’s hope is to tell stories from the margins and through her work help others and herself come to terms with pasts, celebrate presents and confidently dream beautiful futures.

KES2,090.00
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Parliament of Owls

“Parliament of Owls heralds the arrival of a new emperor on the African poetry scene…and this emperor, Adipo Sidang’, is hooting the naked truth.” Tony Mochama, a Kenyan award-winning novelist, poet and literary critic says of the book.

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Play Your Drum

The poems in this collection dwell on diverse issues, ranging from the self, compassion, hatred, human rights, nature and environmental conservation. Most of them were initially composed for recital and have been dramatized and presented in various places across Kenya and beyond.

KES350.00
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Questions for Ada

Questions for Ada

The artistry of QUESTIONS FOR ADA defies words, embodying the pain, the passion, and the power of love rising from the depths of our souls.  Ijeoma Umebinyuo’s poetry is a flower that will blossom in the spirit of every reader as she shares her heart with raw candor.  From lyrical lushness to smoky sensuality to raw truths, this tome of transforming verse is the book every woman wants to write but can’t until the broken mirrors of their lives have healed.  In this gifted author’s own words—“I am too full of life to be half-loved.”  A bold celebration of womanhood.

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salt.

salt.

salt. is a journey through warmth and sharpness. this collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love.

KES3,750.00
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soft magic.

soft magic.

‘soft magic.’ is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. This book explores the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, the experience of Diaspora, spirituality and most of all, how we survive. ‘soft magic.’ is a shared healing journey.

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Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth

Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth

What elevates ‘teaching my mother how to give birth’, what gives the poems their disturbing brilliance, is Warsan Shire’s ability to give simple, beautiful eloquence to the veiled world where sensuality lives in the dominant narrative of Islam; reclaiming the more nuanced truths of earlier times – as in Tayeb Salih’s work – and translating to the realm of lyric the work of the likes of Nawal El Saadawi. As Rumi said, “Love will find its way through all languages on its own”; in ‘teaching my mother how to give birth’, Warsan’s debut pamphlet, we witness the unearthing of a poet who finds her way through all preconceptions to strike the heart directly.

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The Headline That Morning & Other Poems

The Headline That Morning & Other Poems

The Headline That Morning and Other poems is a poetry collection by Ugandan poet, Peter Kagayi. There are 50 poems in the book with wide ranging themes, from love and disillusionment to politics and to social commentary.  Alongside the book is an audio CD with 15 of the 50 poems in the book performed by Peter Kagayi ft Hawa N Kimbugwe.

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The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry

The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry

‘Poetry, always foremost of the arts in traditional Africa, has continued to compete for primacy against the newer forms of prose fiction and theatre drama.’ This wonderfully comprehensive anthology of African poetry has been expanded to include ninety-nine poets from twenty-seven countries, thirty-one of whom appear for the first time. Equally wide-ranging is the content of the poetry itself: war songs and political protests jostle with poems about human love, African nature and the surprises that life offers; all are represented in these rich and colourful pages.

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The Poetry of Scriptwise

The Poetry of Scriptwise is a veritably knitted anthology that covers soulful introspection, love, desire, passion and solitude among other themes. The beauty of the anthology is in the mental image and the harmony of the heart that each poem creates, allowing the reader not only to read but experience the sensations that the words create. 42 pages in length, it jumpstarts an emotional roller coaster like a churn of organs in which each sense of the reader is massaged and doesn’t remain the same. The poetry is dense making each line a foundation. The anthology transitory settings and themes in which the persona seems to record the good, the bad and the ugly of life’s intricacies forms a grandiose book. The measure of brilliance is then in the ability of a reader perusing this anthology more than once.” – Eddy Ongili

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Sale! To Be A Man; Kwani? Poetry Anthology

To Be A Man; Kwani? Poetry Anthology

Ndanu Mungala, in her winning poem, Breaking through, and other poets, raise the issue of man not being allowed to express tender feelings or to cry. Mboga Patroba rejects violence as a definition in society and instead advocates for self sacrifice, service and respect. Poesiopoa Njeri dissects the disease that allows us to laugh at defilement, rape and abuse in her haunting piece Facing Jeevanjee Gardens. Samuel Munene and Ng’ang’a Mbugua pen excellent parodies of every day notions of societies and relationships.

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Touring My Mind

Touring My Mind

Touring My Mind  by Eric Onyango Otieno is a 187 page collection that entails an array of conceptualized statements that open us up into the mind of the poet, giving us opportunity to travel into and through his words in this ebook assembly. Eric says these are his thoughts on the day to day experiences that have shaped the way he sees the world.

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Wild

Ranging across a wide variety of subjects, from the autobiographical to the philosophical, from war to love, from nature to the difficulty of truly seeing, these poems reconfigure the human condition in unusual light through their mastery of tone and condensed brilliance.

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