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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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction 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 Curator at 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 work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. 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 has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. 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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