The signature angst of our time was profoundly expressed in the poems submitted for WOMAWORDS Literary Press June 2020 edition, Imaging Life After COVID-19, offering women poets an opportunity to write about their experience of the pandemic and their vision of or for the future. The universal trauma wrought by this virus, invisible and silent and pouncing with madness and mendacity, brings us to a place we’d like to forget but never will. Our world is charged. Our lives are changed. We embrace with yearning the better memories from our past. We are trapped in the present, making the best of it. We find it hard to envision a future undominated by this moment. It was difficult to select just ten poems from among the many submitted. There was not one unworthy poem. I’m honored to read them, to read the bios and get introduced to some fine new-to-me poets (whether or not selected for publication here), and to be chosen by Mbizo Chirasha to edit this edition of his heart-child, WOMAWORDS Literary Press. The edition goes up late. I offer my apologies to poets, to readers, and to Mbizo. The honor of this work came at a complex time for me. I had another zine to publish and also found myself dealing with a hospital stay and debilitating complications from chronic and catastrophic lung-and-heart health issues. Having said that there is nothing like poetry to help us heal the trauma of the catastrophic illnesses we may suffer individually or from the shared trauma of the current pandemic.
The name EKENIA T.CHIFAMBA is a name that somewhat rattles the bone and marrow of unrepentant , evil and dare-daring barbarians perpetuating sexual violence and emotional abuse onto the lives of innocent and vulnerable young women and girls in both rural and urban settings. In realizing the plight of the GIRLCHILD in all sectors of life , political , social , moral and economical. The resilient Ekenia Chifamba established SHAMWARI YEMWANASIKANA organization .True to it ,the girlchild rights Maestro Chifamba is blessing and heartily friend of the GIRLCHILD in Zimbabwe , Africa and Abroad . For the past tiring six years , she has relentlessly exposed rape cases across the country, weeded out evil off our vulnerable communities .Chifamba embraced vulnerable/abused young girls and rehabilitated their emotions and consciences into lives worth living . A lot of community interventions are being done in Zimbabwes various settings of the country to heal girls from emotional hate and moral decadence perpetuated by crude cruel killers of innocence . Since the resumption of her organization , Chifamba has been received with mixed feelings and contempt by a society use political and pseudo cultural vintage in covering up sin and vile for so many years . That did deter her to stop effecting her CALLING positively in touching the souls of weak and the traumatized . Young women and girls’ deplorable plight was savagely neglected .Ekenia Chifamba became the answer to a lot of unanswered questions and has ridden on the impossible, defying all odds and human obstacles to relieve the girlchild from the bondage of retrogression and unchain them from the yoke of sexual oppression , stigma, discrimination and emotional shattering . SHAMWARI YEMWANASIKANA promotes dialogue among victims , they promote education on girlchild rights in rural villages and down trodden settings, entrepreurship projects , arts and other sustainable projects. Despite a myriad of negative challenges , SHAMWARI YEMWANASIKANA has its own great success stories .Currently ,they are constructing a Girl Child Rehabilitation and Empowerment One Stop Centre . Alas ,the negating winds of the virulent , savaging , cantankerous COVID – 19 affected the completion of this great habitat , sooner or later the Centre will be launched. To honor her resilience , the immense contribution to vulnerable girls , victims of abuse and their communities , I have decided to feature the profiles and activities of SHAMWARI YEMWANASIKANA Organization and its Founder /Executive Director Madame Ekenia T.Chifamba. Chifamba is an Award winning girlchild rights activist ,Philanthropist, Outstanding global girlchild Projects leader with a long , practical , active and reputable resume in field of girlchild rights and other areas of human development. This Feature Profile and Interview will be featured in AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN , WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS , TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC ,WORLDPULSE as a Special Journal .In my closing of this long but deserving blurb, I want to heartily say to Madame Ekenia T.Chifamba thank you profoundly for lighting the lanterns of peace ,for raising the flag of freedom and for speaking on behalf of the VULNERABLE and the VOICELESS-( Blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA)
CATHERINE MAGODO- MUTUKWA is a prolific and a multi award-winning Zimbabwean voice in the diaspora. Her verses are bold, pregnant with reason and they drip the honey of wise counsel. Her voice is motherly, as she rebukes fellow women to rise, to speak out and to raise the fist of resistance and thrash barbarism. The imagery …
TSITSI TSOPOTSA is a Zimbabwean born storyteller, Poet, Writer, Advocate of the Girl child and a Cultural Arts Activist. She ushers in a rare but captivating poetry writing style. Her new poetry beverage soothes the mind of the reader as it carefully flows with blood and warms the African readers soul. It is soul food to the audience. Tsopotsa poetry speaks belonging, identity and African spirituality. Her new form of poetry is extraordinary in form and content. Reason and rhythm are special ingredients to this rare but sweet poetic refreshment. WOMAWORDS celebrates dexterity, reason and diversity with Poet Tsitsi Tsopotsa. Aluta Continua- WOMAWORDS eDitor.
“The WOMAWORDS press June Edition is to be edited by our Poet Laureate and USA Associate to the WOMAWORDS Hall of Fame, Jamie Dedes.“The call is open to women poets from May 20 through June 20.“Ten poems and poets will be selected from the submissions, which should include a short third-person bio of thirty-to-sixty words and your photograph.“Submissions to be forwarded to BOTH Mbizo Chirasha firstname.lastname@example.org and cc’d Jamie Dedes at email@example.com”.G JAMIE DEDES is a Lebanese-American poet and free-lance writer. She is the founder and curator of The Poet by Day, info hub for poets and writers, and the founder of The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine, of which she was the founding editor and currently a co-manager editor with Michael Dickel. Ms. Dedes is the Poet Laureate of WOMAWORDS Press 2020 and U.S associate to that press as well. Her debut collection, “The Damask Garden,” is due out fall 2020 from Blue Dolphin Press.
Amazingly, WOMAWORDS continues Conversations with both prominent and rising women artists, activists and writers that inspire their communities through various projects. As per our principle, we value excellence, dexterity and prowess. We are overjoyed as usual to feature prominence and profile greatness. The WOMAWORDS eDitor, Mbizo CHIRASHA met with prolific Vision Therapist , prominent Mural Artist and Poet PATRICIA TRAVIS, the most exciting about her artist gigs is versatility, she switches from being a poet to a musician and fuses her writings with community intervention errands while she also use her Vision Therapist expertise to heal children and the elderly who are visually impaired. WONDERFUL. We are gratified to welcome you into the CONVERSATIONS STUDIO, Iconic human being Patricia Travis, Aluta Continua- blurb by WOMAWORDS eDitor, Mbizo CHIRASHA.
Besides being a publisher, I am also a poet. Awards include the Ibbetson Lifetime Achievement Award, the Allen Ginsberg Award for Community Service, the 5th and 40th Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman’s Voice, numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, St. Botolph nomination, a Somerville Arts Council fellowship, and being selected as Poet Laureate in Somerville, MA for 2017 and 2018.Some of my other titles include being one of the USA editors for Levure Litteraire (France),editor of the Istanbul Literary Review/ILR (Turkey)from 2007-2011, editor and co-founder of the Boston Literary Review/BLuR from 1984-1994, co-founder of Theatre S. & S. Press, writer of plays, musicals, adaptations, performance art pieces, and being an actress.Author of 5 books of poetry, “ I Wish Francisco Franco Would Love Me” (Nixes Mate Books, Allston, MA), “Whiteness of Bone” (Glass Lyre Press, Glenview, IL), “Nothing Divine Here” (Cetinje, Montenegro), La Portile Raiului (Ars Longa Press, Romania) translated into the Romanian by Flavia Cosma, “Blood Soaked Dresses,” (Ibbetson St. Press, Somerville, MA), and my sixth collection of poetry called “Ash” is forthcoming by Glass Lyre Press. Also the author of three chapbooks that have been published.
It is befitting to name tag NANCY NDEKE as the African Poetic Tigress. The wealth in her poetic narratives and hybrid writing resemble a honeycomb clad with the earthly jacket of pure honey. The mind scorching metaphors are glued together social fabric matters and then stitched with humor concocted political vibe. Ndeke is a princess of rain and the daughter of the road. Her poetic footprints traverse from African foothills, through crevices and caves of great mountains of Kirinyaga into the mist clad mighty Kilimanjaro and the valleys yonder our human rich. The Poetic Tigress in Nancy Ndeke roars with the zeal to see the world dancing in spiritual glory, celebrating abundance and jiving to the gift of the sun and its kindred the moon. Exclusive. The lioness carved into the soul cave of this great literary combatant hunts for her twin sister PEACE in nooks, crevices and thickets of the world. Pen her torch and her poetry is her unfading light. Her literary eyes are oxblood because of the day and night search for her cousin Freedom. Ndeke is a prolific Kenyan Wordsmith, Editor, Literary arts projects consultant and a distinguished writer. She involved in the WOMAWORDS and Brave Voices Poetry JOURNAL as an African Associate and Contributing Editor. WOMAWORDS present to you our beloved readers to the Iconic, prolific and globally decorated Poet, Nancy Ndeke, Aluta Continua- WOMAWORDS eDitor.
Sometimes, I ponder why Africa remain chained by shackles of poverty, clobbered by disease and ravaged by war. I then shed a hot scalding tear from within the inner caves of my heart. Africa my motherland your name is IRONY and your birth mark is paradox. Sure, Africa my land is blessed with natural beautification. Where at every dawn, we dance to the festival of natural beat, Father baboons on baritone, Mother monkeys on sweet tenor, sister doves on soprano and on the trumpet is the great elephant. Africa, My Africa. Today, the wind was calm and the earth danced to the beat of little glory. COVID 19 is still digging its feet deep unto the gates of our beloved countries. I didn’t stop, I trudged along into the digital thickets of Africa, I met a poetic damsel scribbling poetry graffiti on Facebook wall draping’s and inserting her husky poetic voice on the googles internet walls. The voice in Alari Alare Celine is the soft beat of drizzle wetting the smile creased foreheads of hills, the rhythm is the gush rush of a waterfall and depth is the cackling of wild hens bathing in silver colored ravine of Zame. Mesmerizing. The poet in Alari sings to Africa and yearns for the return of virgin Africa, the original Africa. The poet sings to her belonging and her identity . WOMAWORDS Profiles blog present Poet Writer Alari Alare Celine , a Kenyan born writer and is involved with Nairobi Literary Café Aluta Continua- WOMAWORDS eDitor.
#AWADIFO OLGA KILI is our #WOMAWORDS representative for young women and girls and she is part of our #WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS Hall of Fame. A Youthful Literary,genius.A dedicated and widely published writer poet attending her Law studies at a University in Uganda, African land of great political history, cultural anthropology and a haven of literary arts doyens. This installment features Poet #Awadifo Olga Kilis Profile and her unique set of poems touching on the hot bun subject matter, MENSTRUATION. While this set of candid and bold verses require brave readership, Kili celebrates womanhood and uses her sharpened weapon, her pen to smash stigma and discrimination against menstruating women. She then spiritedly flexes her poetic muscle and dare every Goliath set to discriminate menstruating girls and women. Her poetry is candid and her verses are thought provoking, she pushes her spear yonder by saying that menstruation is purity and it is a blessing from Almighty God our Lord. Mind boggling poesy. Awadifo Kilis poems are trendsetting and are clearing our path towards the # DaughtersoftheEarthProject themed #Menstrual Health and Equity. Her set of poems including these titles, HELLO PERIODS*, FEMININE STORY* and *DAUGHTERS OF EVE. #WOMAWORDS is greatly excited to see heads rolling on this our digital thicket. Yes , we yearn to promote dialogue , exchange of ideas , scholarship , freedom of expression and peace. Aluta Continua, #WOMAWORDS eDitor-Mbizo CHIRASHA.