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Kayo Chingonyi. Image from African Poetry Prize.

Zambian poet Kayo Chingonyi’s first full-length collection, Kumukanda, is receiving praise. The Guardian has hailed its “lyrical elegance” and “many nuanced portrayals and unflinching reflections.” Chingonyi’s poem, “The Colour of James Brown’s Scream,” was shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for Poetry. The author of two poetry pamphlets, Some Bright Elegance (Salt, 2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream (Akashic, 2016), he was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and has twice been shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, in 2013 and 2017.

In the video below, posted on Movingpoems.com, he and the poet-dancer-choreographer Sean Graham offer a dance interpretation of the coming-of-age rituals at the center of Kumukanda. The video is created by the director Fiona Melville and the producer-creative director Nathalie Teitler for the Dancing Words project. Its composition is by Gemma Weekes.

Watch it below or HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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