ISBN 9781779220387
Pages 148
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2005
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Songs My Country Taught Me

Collected Poems 1965-2005

by John Eppel

'If the form of my poetry is thoroughly European, its content is thoroughly African.'

Thus the author introduces this collection of some eighty of his poems written between the late 1950s and the present: from the settler period through the civil war, to independence and neo- colonialism. The poems explore the contradictions and creative possibilities of an identity that is at once native and white, European and African. The voice is varyingly satirical, confessional, outraged and affectionate.

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'These poems have nothing to do with white nostalgia for the colonial period. On the contrary, they circle round [the author's] attempt both to embrace a past and wean himself from it.'

Mail & Guardian, South Africa

About the Author

John Eppel

In addition to writing short stories, John Eppel is also an award-winning poet and novelist. His first novel, D.G.G. Berry’s The Great North Road (1992), won the M-Net Prize in South Africa. His second novel, Hatchings (1993), was short-listed for the M-Net Prize and his third novel, The Giraffe Man (1994), has been translated into French.

His first poetry collection, Spoils of War (1989), won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Other poems have been featured in anthologies that include The Heart in Exile South African Poetry in English 1990-1995 (1996) and Intwasa Poetry (2008) while his short stories have appeared in anthologies that include Short Writings from Bulawayo (2003), Short Writings from Bulawayo II (2005). Writing Now: More Stories from Zimbabwe (2005), Short Writings from Bulawayo III (2006), Laughing Now (2008), and Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe (2008). His latest published novel is Absent: The English Teacher.

Read an interview with John Eppel here:

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