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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, 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 Nnaemekaram is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop facilitated by Giles Foden. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories and is working on a 600-page novel. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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