Dress me in Disobedience, the new poetry collection by Ugandan poet Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva launched on January 2, 2022.
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva came to the attention of the African literary community when she came up with what became the Babishai Niwe Poetry Prize in 2008. It started as a prize only for Ugandan women but was expanded to all genders and everyone who lives on the African continent in the following year. It went on to become one of the most respected awards in a space that is sincerely lacking in opportunities to shine a light on the best poetry Africans are producing. Apart from the poetry prize, she also set up Babishai Niwe Poetry Festival, a rarity as it is aimed primarily at poets who have very few of their own.
Nsengiyunva isn’t just a cultural entrepreneur but is also a very good poet in her own right. Her debut collection Unjumping was applauded when she brought it to the market in 2010.
The Kampala resident launched her newest collection Dress me in Disobedience at a virtual event on Sunday, January 2. Dress me in Disobedience the title poem was originally published in 2021. The poetry collection, produced ten years after her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, has been described as a relatable set of poems that touch on diverse topics in a bold and assertive manner.
There has been praise for the new work with award winner Ber Anena saying that Beverley writes about issues that many would rather keep locked in their minds, deploying words that only a true disobedient writer can. Kwame Dawes said that she writes with a daring, risk-cutting and witty sense of defiance.
During the launch attended by among others Dr Stella Nyanzi, Nsengiyunva thanked the Kuonyesha Art Fund whose grant offered her the resources to publish, and the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation that facilitated the process of publishing.
The copies are available in Kampala’s main bookstores as well as online, at only 30,000 UGX or 9 USD.