Togara Muzanenhamo’s Virga was named the winner of the African Poetry Book Fund’s Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry 2022 on February 23, 2023.
The Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry is named for poet, publisher, editor, businesswoman, and philanthropist, Glenna Luschei. Administered by the African Poetry Book Fund, it is awarded annually to a book published in the previous calendar year by an African poet. Some previous winners of the prize have been Maneo Refiloe Mohale, Mangaliso Buzani, Koleka Putuma, Juliane Okot Bitek, Rethabile Masilo, and Kobus Moolman.
This year’s edition was judged by Author Matthew Shenoda from the finalists The Moral Judgement of Butterflies by K. Eltinaé (Eyewear Publishing), Virga by Togara Muzanenhamo, An/Other Pastoral by Tjawangwa Dema (No Bindings), and The River in the Belly by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Deep Vellum).
He declared the winner saying: “Virga by Togara Muzanenhamo is a collection of poems that reify an age-old truth: the past is not past; and like the elements we experience, the events that once were, linger in the air we occupy now. Borderless in his interests, Muzanenhamo explores moments both intimate and public, known and unknown, staking claim to the expansive notions of what it means to be of or from a place. Muzanenhamo’s poems travel like the weather and show the ways both “here” and “there” are always present. He is a poet with a broad gift for craft and a thinking that resists being placed in any single frame.”
Togara Muzanenhamo was born in Zambia and brought up in Zimbabwe. He has studied in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. His poems have appeared widely in international journals and magazines. His debut poetry collection Spirit Brides (Carcanet, 2006) was shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. An Irish Times Best Poetry Books of the Year and a Poetry Society Autumn Recommendation, Virga is Muzanenhamo’s fourth collection of poetry. He lives in Norton, Zimbabwe, on his family’s farm.
Virga is available for purchase online from Carcanet (please click here) and bookstores that carry Carcanet Poetry titles.
Togara Muzanenhamo responded to the award worth of USD $1,000 with the message, “Many thanks to Ms Glenna Luschei, Kwame Dawes, and the African Poetry Book Fund.”