THE modest working title of Memory Chirere’s forthcoming poetry anthology, Bhuku Risina Basa, loosely translated, useless book, belies a range of genius. Chirere, an internationally renowned author, academic, editor and literary critic said he had decided to come out of his closet with more than 100 poems authored over 20 years as private exercises.
Bhuku Risina Basa is being trimmed for press with the help of Chirere’s editor and friend, the veteran poet Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa and will be released by Harare-based Bhabhu Books during the last quarter of this year. Chirere’s inventory includes Somewhere in This Country (2006), Tudikidiki (2007), Toriro and His Goats (2010) and Charles Mungoshi: A Critical Reader (2006), co-edited with Prof Maurice Vambe.
Arguably, one of Zimbabwe’s foremost literary figures, Chirere’s work features in No More Plastic Balls (1999), A Roof to Repair (2000), Writing Still (2003) and Creatures Great and Small (2005).
“These are poems about my relationships with family, friends and country. I noticed I have over a hundred such poems from a period of 20 years,” said Chirere.
“I am not writing this book to make an impression but it is a way of putting together so many things that I have said to myself and others for the past 20 years so that they do not get lost,” he said.
The project is Chirere’s first poetry anthology and fourth solo project.
“Ibhuku risina basa because when writing them, they were initially not intended for publishing. They were also written in between chores and in between studies and in between what I thought were more serious engagements.
“The anthology is being edited by my friend Ignatius Mabasa and we are targeting bringing it out before the end of the year.”
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