ISBN 9789780232412
Pages 108
Dimensions 203 x 127 mm
Published 2007
Publisher Malthouse Press, Nigeria
Format Paperback

Echoes from the Mountain

New and Selected Poems by Mazisi Kunene

by Mazisi Kunene edited by Dike Okoro

Mazisi Kunene was South Africa's first poet laureate, one of the most important voices of twentieth century African poetry, whether in African or European languages. His four collections of poems published in English are still considered classics and major works of imaginative creation in African literature. This posthumous selection of 52 poems explores the cosmology and mythology of his Zulu heritage from a universal perspective is what defines the ethos of his opus. Much of his poetry is imbued with themes that touch on history, family, legacy, and the importance of the ancestors, worded in innovative language and steeped in vision that make his writing unique.

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About the Author

Mazisi Kunene

Mazisi Kunene is an epic poet living in KwaZulu-Natal. Kunene studied at the University of Natal, and won the Bantu Literary Competition Award in 1956. He left South Africa in 1959, taught in Lesotho, and years later gained the distinction of becoming Professor of African Literature and Language at the University of California in Los Angeles. More recently, he has been based at the University of Natal, Durban, though now retired. For Zulu Poems (1970) Kunene collected and translated into English his early poetry. Evolving from traditional Zulu literature, the poems reflect the importance of this social and cultural inheritance. With the publication of Emperor Shaka the Great (1979), an epic poem inspired by the rise of the Zulu empire - Shaka's royal kraal was located at KwaDukuza - followed by Anthem of the Decades (1981), a Zulu epic dedicated to the women of Africa, Kunene earned critical as well as popular recognition. His reputation was further enhanced by the elegiacal poems collected in The Ancestors and the Sacred Mountain (1982). Acknowledged for his commitment to the language and history of his Zulu heritage, Kunene is a major voice in African literature. More recent works include Isibusiso sikamhawu (1994), Indida yamancasakazi (1995) and Umzwilili wama-Afrika (1996).

About the Editor

Dike Okoro

Dr Dike Okoro, Sam Walton Fellow and finalist for the 1994 Iliad Poetry Award, teaches advanced reading and writing poetry and literature courses at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA. He received his PhD in English (with research specialization in African Diaspora literatures) from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, an M.A. in African American literature and an M.F.A. in poetry, both from Chicago State University. He is the editor and author of six books, including Speaking for the Generations: An Anthology of Contemporary African Short Stories, Echoes from the Mountain: New and Selected Poems by Mazisi Kunene A Long Dream: Poems by Okogbule Wonodi. His poems, essays, short stories, chapters and articles have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

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