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Sowero Poetry 2007 - Blurb

Blurb 

This anthology of views, interviews, reviews, articles and bibliographical reference seeks to understand and appreciate a major phenomenon in South African literary and political life:  the rise to prominence of a Black Consciousness poetry, called the New Black Poetry of the 1970s or Soweto Poetry.

 Just as Soweto poetry in the voices of Mbuyiseni Mtshali, Mongane Serote, Mafika Gwala and others has superseded its immediate political context to enter into any consideration of South African literature, so the contributions - republished here 25 years later - gain resonance in retrospect.

The resonance is dependent not only on the fact that the contributions draw on the insights of many leading literary commentators: Peter Abrahams, H I E Dhlomo, Nat Nakasa, Es'kia Mphahlele, James Matthews, Lionel Abrahams, Douglas Livingstone, Njabulo S Ndebele, Mbulelo Mzamane, among them.  The resonance also reminds us of what editor Michael Chapman in his Preface identifies as the inheritance of the Soweto voices:  part of a global movement towards a non-elitist poetry of ethical power.

The challenge of such an aesthetic - a poetry that is both simple and profound - lends continuing relevance to these perspectives, initially published in the revolutionary aftermath of Soweto '76 and reprinted in this current edition.

Michael Chapman, the editor of the original Soweto Poetry in 1982, is professor of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  His numerous publications include Southern African Literatures (1996;  2003) and Art Talk, Politics Talk (2006).  [www.michaelchapman.co.za]

 
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