Our Words, Our Worlds by Makhosazana Xaba

Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000-2018, an anthology edited by Makhosazana Xaba and published by UKZN Press was launched in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on July 16, 2019.

Makhosazana Xaba is an anthologist, essayist, short-story writer and poet. The South African has three collections of poetry: these hands (2005 and 2017), Tongues of their Mothers (2008) and The Alkalinity of Bottled Water (2019). She is the editor of Like the Untouchable Wind: An Anthology of Poems. Her debut short story collection, Running and other Stories (2013) was a joint winner of the South Africa Literary Award’s Nadine Gordimer Short-Story Award 2014.

Qhakazambalikayise Thato Mthembu, Myesha Jenkins, Tereska Muishond, Makhosazana Xaba, and Duduzile Zamantgungwa Mabaso
Qhakazambalikayise Thato Mthembu, Myesha Jenkins, Tereska Muishond, Makhosazana Xaba, and Duduzile Zamantgungwa Mabaso

The second anthology edited by Xaba made its official appearance on the South African literary landscape this past Tuesday at the offices of UKZN Press in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. It has the following blurb;

This groundbreaking, multi-genre anthology answers the question: what did the literary landscape look like in South Africa at the start of the twenty-first century? It documents a slice of this landscape by bringing together the writings of over twenty contributors through literary critique, personal essays and interviews. The book tells the story of the seismic shift that transformed national culture through poetry and is the first of its kind to explore the history and impact of poetry by Black women, in their own voices. It straddles disciplines: literary theory, feminism, history of the book and politics – thus decolonising literary culture.

‘Our Words, Our Worlds’ covers expansive reflections: from the international diplomacy-transforming poem, ‘I Have Come to Take You Home’ by Diana Ferrus, to the pioneering publisher Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso; from the self-confessed closeted poet Sedica Davids, to the fiery unapologetic feminist Bandile Gumbi; from the world-renowned Malika Ndlovu, to the engineer and award-winning Nosipho Gumede; from the formidable foursome Feela Sistah, to feminist literary scholars V.M. Sisi Maqagi and Barbara Boswell. The collective contributions are a testimony to the power of creativity and centrality of poetry in a changing society. This book is an assertion of Black women’s intellectual prowess and – as Gabeba Baderoon puts it – black women’s visions of ‘a world made whole by their presence’.

The full list contributors of this new anthology are Gabeba Baderoon, Barbara Boswell, Sedica Davids, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Diana Ferrus, Vangi Gantsho, Bandile Gumbi, Nosipho Gumede, Myesha Jenkins, Ronelda Sonnet Kamfer, Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso, Makgano Mamabolo, Napo Masheane, Lebogang Mashile, V.M. Sisi Maqagi, Mthunzikazi Mbungwana, Natalia Molebatsi, Qhakazambalikayise Thato Mthembu, Tereska Muishond, Malika Ndlovu, Maganthrie Pillay, Toni Stuart, and Makhosazana Xaba.

You can get a hold of the new publication at the UKZN Press page.