In Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poems of Decolonisation, fifty years of protest poetry are brought together in one volume by literary critic and lecturer Dr Wamuwi Mbao. The animating impulse behind this collection of old and new voices is ‘decolonisation’, a term which has regained prominence over the last few years. It allows us to perceive how different South African poets have placed their work in the world, and how that work might relate to the struggle for radical social transformation. How, then, does decolonization look like in the world of South African poetry? This anthology is an attempt to answer that question.
The poems express the thoughts and experiences of poets who experienced Apartheid, but also of those who address current political realities. This collection includes established voices such as HIE Dhlomo, Oswald Mtshali, Mongane Serote, Sipho Sepamla, and Eskia Mphahlele, as well as prominent contemporary poets such as Vangile Gantsho, Adrian van Wyk and Lebohang Masango.
Wamuwi Mbao lectures in English studies at Stellenbosch University. He writes short fiction, and his research interests are in South African post-apartheid literature, architecture and popular culture. He is a SALA-winning literary critic with the Johannesburg Review of Books. His short story ‘The Bath’ is included in Twenty in 20, a collection of the twenty most significant short stories post-1994.
|Jonathan Ball Publishers