Brittle Paper fam, a new journal has joined the vibrant space of African online publishing. Ipikai is a journal for Zimbabwean poetry.
Name of the quarterly journal is a Shona word meaning “be open to receiving.” It is an offshoot of the newly-created Zimbabwe Poets Society, founded by two key contributors to the country’s arts and cultural scene: the multiple award-winning poet Batsirai Chigama—whose works had earned, among many honors, the 2022 NAMA Outstanding Poetry Book Award—and Fungai Tichawangana, blogger and founder of multiple initiatives such as Zimbo Jam, Valley of Writers, and Artist Dynamix.
Commenting on the new journal, Chigama said:
Nothing excites me more than to see poets come together and create something for themselves, learning from those who came before and creating a repository that will inform and inspire future generations of poets.
The first editor of the journal will be poet Tariro Ndoro who holds an MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes University in South Africa. Her debut poetry collection Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner was the recipient of a NAMA Award for Outstanding Poetry Book. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in a wide range of national and international literary magazines and anthologies including Afreada, Almost Island, Cyphers, Moving On and Other Zimbabwean Stories, Oxford Poetry, and SAND Literary Journal.
In response to tackling the job of being the first editor, Ndoro remarks:
I am both honoured and overwhelmed. Having done previous work for Praxis Magazine, I understand the workload of taking on editorship, yet despite feeling daunted and excited, I understand why this is a necessary step in Zimbabwe’s art scene.
While Ipikai prioritizes submissions from Zimbabwean writers, they will occasionally publish special issues where they have open calls for poets from around the world. The first issue of the Ipikai Poetry Journal, themed, “The Duality of Life,” will be published at the beginning of April 2022. The first call for applications has just been announced with the deadline set for March 21, 2022.
Go here for more information about submission call and learn about the journal’s mission.