7/7: Save The Dates

77

Save The Dates:

1. Femrite (Uganda Women Writers Association) is celebrating 20 years this year! One of the activities to celebrate this milestone will be an international conference. The conference will be held at the School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda from July 28 to 30 2016. To register for the conference, international participants are required to pay $200 and Ugx150,000 for the national particiants. For details, call +256-414 543 943 or email info.femrite@gmail.com

2. The 2016 Writivism festival will be held at The Uganda Museum from August 22 to 28, 2016. Running for the fourth year, the festival will have over 60 events around the theme: Restoring Connections. 12 new books will be launched at the event, and over 25 titles will be featured in various events including special book-signing sessions. The speakers’ list includes writers and creatives from more than 10 countries, with work across various art forms. The festival will also include  a stage play, a film screening, a photography exhibition, school visits, workshops, readings, panel discussions, Long Story Short performances, a Readers Awards evening and Writivism prize awards among other events. To reach Writivism for details on the festival, call: +256787818132 / +256702038098, email: info@writivism.com / watsonkuema@gmail.com, Facebook: Writivism Literary Initiative / The Writivism Festival and Twitter Writivism / CACEAfrica.

3. The 2016 Babishai Poetry Festival will take place at Maria’s place in Ntinda from August 24 to 26. The festival will be running for it’s second year. For more details, email festival@babishainiwe.com or call +256 751 703226. Check out their website for updates on the festival and the festival programme.

Are you writing?

4. You have up to 31st July to submit your story for the Short story Day Africa Prize. The theme this year is Migrations:

From our ancestors’ first forays through the continent, to the contemporary diaspora spread around the world, people are eternally moving in, out and about the African continent. Not everyone leaves out of their own volition, and not everyone comes with the best intentions: nevertheless, the story of Africa is the story of souls migrating, settling, unsettling, fleeing, seeking, resting, nesting and sharing stories, experiences and myths.

Check out the details on how to submit, terms and conditions of entry and the manuscript format here: SSDA Prize: Migration 

5. You can now apply for a Miles Morland writing scholarship. Scholars writing fiction will receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of twelve months. At the discretion of the Foundation, Scholars writing non-fiction may receive a grant of up to £27,000, paid over a period  of up to eighteen months. The deadline for submission is October 31 2016. All the details you need can be found here: Miles Morland Writing Scholarship

#NowReading

6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the American election: The Arrangements: A work of fiction

7. NoViolet Bulawayo’s: His Middle Name Was Not Jesus

Have a lovely week and Eid Mubarak!

7/7: #SSWC, a litfair, black princesses in children’s lit and other stories

Princess Arabella, and her mother, complete with natural hair styles. Illustration: Mylo Freeman via http://www.theguardian.com/
Princess Arabella, and her mother. Illustration: Mylo Freeman via http://www.theguardian.com/

 

1.The Gathering’s Short story Writing Competition

The Gathering, a group of readers and writers on Facebook, is organising it’s third short story writing competition. This year’s Judge is author of Tropical Fish, Doreen Baingana. You have up to 7pm, July 13 to apply. Here is what you need to know:

-Submissions must be original, and unpublished anywhere. Your submission must not be longer than 2,500 words.

-You must be in this group to submit a story – follow the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/WetheGathering/ if you need to be added.

-#SSWC is an online writing competition, and is open ONLY to Ugandans. You must identify yourself using your current Facebook ID. Judges will have no idea who the submissions are from. However, Jade Incorporated, the firm that runs the logistical process of this competition, will only accept submissions from contestants whose identity can be traced back to their Facebook ID.

-Prizes will include cash, with a top prize of Shs. 1,000,000, an interesting bunch of stuff from their sponsors, and an invitation to a Writing Workshop run by Doreen Baingana.

Submissions should be made by email to dennis.asiimwe@jadeincorporated.com.

2. Writivism June LitFair: This month’s Writivism LitFair will be held this Sunday June 26 at the Uganda Museum from 3pm till 6pm. Peter Kagayi will be discussing some of his poetry in his debut collection, The Headline That Morning and Other Poems. There will be other speakers as well. If you have a copy of this book, this is a great opportunity to dig deeper into what the book is really about.

3. Have you read the reviews of The Headline That Morning yet? Here they are:

-Nevender: Just Read : The Headline That Morning and other Poems by Peter Kagayi

-Lule Raymond for Turn The Page: The Headline That Morning-Peter Kagayi 

-The East African: Uganda’s rich poetry culture comes of age

On the Launch

-Daily Monitor:  The poetry book launch that was a rain of emotions

-The New Vision: Kagayi unpacks poetry collection

4. If you haven’t done so already, do check out the conversations on this year’s shortlisted Caine Prize stories (interviews and reviews) on Brittle Paper: #CainePrize2016

5. On whether reading can make you happy and bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect. The first use of the term is usually dated to a jaunty 1916 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “A Literary Clinic.” In it, the author describes stumbling upon a “bibliopathic institute” run by an acquaintance, Bagster, in the basement of his church, from where he dispenses reading recommendations with healing value.

and the one you may identify with:

With books there is no forced sociability. If we pass the evening with those friends—books—it’s because we really want to. When we leave them, we do so with regret and, when we have left them, there are none of those thoughts that spoil friendship: ‘What did they think of us?’—‘Did we make a mistake and say something tactless?’—‘Did they like us?’—nor is there the anxiety of being forgotten because of displacement by someone else.

Read the entire article here: Can reading make you happier?

6. In Black Girls can be princesses too, Mylo Freeman explains her character choices and why the battle for diversity in children’s books is far from over.

Children are not colour-blind. Through diverse picture books children will have an opportunity to learn on an unconscious level to feel empathy and identify with others from a different ethnic background to their own. Children need both mirrors and windows. Many children of colour see the world only through windows but they also need mirrors. Other children only see mirrors and they need to see the world through windows.

More here: Black Girls Can Be Princesses Too.

7. And just for laughs, here are famous books retitled like episodes of Friends.

 

Have a great week and see you on Sunday?

7/7 is Sooo Many Stories’ way of helping you beat the Monday blues. 7 things that are making me happy in the literary world.

Book Launch: A thank you note

Dear reader,

It’s so good to “see” you again in these streets. It has been a while.

On Wednesday June 8, we had the launch of Sooo Many Stories’ first publication, The Headline That Morning and Other Poems. If you have ever had to organise an event, be it a birthday party for 14 people or a wedding for 1000 guests, you know the tight knot you get in your stomach just before the event when you wonder whether even one person will show up. You know your parents will show up of course but for a moment, the memory of someone whose parents did not show up for their wedding makes you doubt that they will for a moment. And so we would like to thank you for showing up in huge numbers on Wednesday. Thank you!

Collage 1

 

Thank you for your feedback on the book, CD and the event as well. Please keep those reviews coming.

Before the event on Wednesday, there are several people that we worked with for a successful launch and a book that we hope you will love. Thank you Franco Mpagi for the cover, Daniel Areeba for typesetting, Blackrain Ltd for printing and helping us understand the printing jargon.

Collage 4

 

Thank you Abaasa and Baru for officiating the marriage between Kagayi’s poetry and your music, Marcus Ejuku for the drums, Kohen Mwesigwa for your beautiful voice, Hatim Mudasi for the harp/endingidi, Carol Mirembe for the lights, Christine Mbabazi for the dance and Otako Williams Mpaata for being part of the production.

Collage 5
Marcus Ejuku and Producer Baru at Dustville Studios. Photos by Onyait Odeke

Thank you Andrew Pacutho and Onyait Odeke for capturing our memories (launch and studio respectively). Thank you Kisakye, Rugambwa, Wabwire, Komuhangi, Agwang and Atukwatse for lending a hand.

Special thanks to James Murua who travelled all the way from Nairobi to cover the event. Here is his take on the event: Kagayi Peter launches poetry collection in Kampala

Thank you to all media outlets that have been more than welcoming and have been more than encouraging. Thank you for getting us in a world where we are often misunderstood. Thank you for telling our story and amplifying our voices.

 

Collage 2

Thank you Goretti Kyomuhendo for being there from way, way, way back. Thank you Colleen Higgs for making us believe we could. Thank you Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire for things too many to list here. Thank you Femrite and Jalada for giving me a home. Thank you also for leading the way.

Thank you Vaola and Kakoma for delivering and thank you Kagayi for trusting the process.

Collage3

And lastly, thank you dear reader, for pushing us to be more.

DSC_6379

All other photos by Andrew Pacutho. For more images from the event, follow us on instagram and Facebook.

Books and CDs are still available at Ugx20,000 and Ugx15,000. The Headline That Morning and Other Poems can be bought at Book Point (Village Mall), The National Theatre (Box Office), The Uganda Museum and from our website. You can also text 0783261909 for deliveries (a top up of Ugx5,000 for delivery around Kampala).

7/7: A reading, a retreat, a question and other stories

Dear reader,

I hope you had a great weekend and are all set for this new week. Here is what is happening:

1. Ellah Wakatama Allfrey on why publishers and editors need new ways of talking about Africa’s past and present

Creative non-fiction has the potential to close the gap between here and there, then and now, us and them. Yet, too often, this kind of writing about Africa has been at a distance, with the directive for “expert opinion” and “objectivity” stripping narratives of the blood and tears that make for truly remarkable storytelling. To realise that potential, we need to support writers and celebrate new ways of telling Africa’s past and present. This also means encouraging an expansion of the marketplace, by trusting that readers will respond positively to writing by people who are usually seen as subjects for a foreign correspondent’s investigations.

More here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/04/ellah-wakatama-allfrey-talking-about-africa-past-present

2. Over at The JeliAlexia Paradzai asks the question, Who is African Literature For? 

I have to wonder if I would have loved Americanah the same way if I was still living in Zimbabwe, or if Behold the Dreamers would have garnered so much attention if everything had stayed the same except the setting- if instead the protagonists were actually Somali, fleeing to Nairobi, Kenya. This is not to shame African writers who write about other places that aren’t in Africa but just to ask a necessary but cynical question- who are we writing for and why do we do it?

Read the rest here: http://thejeli.com/2016/05/28/who-is-african-literature-for/

3.#NowReading: Jalada’s bonus language issue. Do check it out here: https://jalada.org/2016/05/30/bonus-edition-jalada-04-the-language-issue/

And while you’re at it, check out what Moses Kilolo, Jalada Managing Editor says about working on Jalada’s translation issue and what it means:

And, for me personally, it was then that I began to understand the true significance of the process, not out of prior knowledge or experience, but out of love and the faith that all languages are equal. I stand safe in the knowledge that I have attained a language conscience, and hopeful that this language awakening will do the same for millions of Africans who can easily access wonderful stories in their own languages on any device.

Jalada, translating the continent!

4. Prof Timothy Wangusa reading: Join Goethe and FEMRITE this Thursday, 16th June for Prof Wangusa’s reading of his latest novel: Betwixt the mountain and the wilderness at 5:30pm at Goethe Zentrum, Plot 52 Bukoto Street. Betwixt The Mountain is a sequel to Prof Wangusa’s Upon This Mountain that was published in 1989. The novel Upon This Mountain tells the story of Mwambu, who is determined to touch heaven, and describes his journey towards adulthood. The novel combines African folklore and proverbs with Christian symbolism. Its main theme is that of growing up in the Ugandan society and what challenges come with growing up in the traditional setting.

See you there?

Betwixt Mountain And Wilderness
Betwixt Mountain And Wilderness

5. Are you a Ugandan or Kenyan screen writer? You have up to June 3oth and July 1 respectively to submit your script to be part of a screenwriting lab. Maisha will have four annual 8-day intensive programs in each of Maisha’s target countries(Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). Fifteen scholarships will be awarded in each country. In 8 days, the 60 selected participants (15 in each country) ,will work with internationally renowned mentors to refine their work and broaden their horizons on the film business and the art of filmmaking. The winning script will receive an award of $ 5,000 to produce their short film.

More details here:  http://maishafilmlab.org/our-programs/programs-2016/doen-2016-screenwriting-labs/

6. Do you want to learn how to plan, write, fund, publish and move your book? Join Successspark and Jackee Batanda  this July 1st to 4th 2016 at Bulago Island for a four day in-depth session of the book writing process.

Previous participants have written about the retreat here:

Kullein: Anything but ordinary

Joel Ntwatwa: A Writing Vacation One Minute South of the Equator

Maria Nabatanzi: 10 Reasons Why You Need to Attend Jackee batanda’s Success Spark Brand Writing Retreat

Contact them at +256-776703445 or info@successspark.co to book your slot today.

7. Lastly, thank you for reading and for waiting for us. It feels really good to be back! Can’t wait to share the stories we have!

Have a great week.

7/7 is Sooo Many Stories’ way of helping you beat the Monday blues (which sometimes spill into your Tuesdays). 7 things that are making me happy in the literary world.

My writing process | Peter Kagayi

Photo by Onyait Odeke
Photo by Onyait Odeke

 

I’ve really never paid attention to how I write a poem. Sometimes I just get a pen and write. Or I just type. Sometimes someone asks me to write a poem on a particular theme. Or for a particular theatre production.

There are poems I write once and I like them the way they are. Then there are those I write and re-write and re-write and I won’t stop until I am satisfied with what I feel about them.

There are poems I write in solitude, then those I write in chaos.

I write a poem according to the musicality in my physical setting. I admire Alex Mukulu’s lyricism. He’s my equivalent of T.S. Elliot. Bob Dylan’s poems capsize me into day dreaming. Some movies have inspired me into writing. Bebe cool’s music gives me bad dreams.

I write according to my emotions in a particular situation. I have tried writing some poems using inscape.

I love characterisation, especially when it’s not obvious. I have a female persona I embody to write some poems, especially the ones with female personas.

Rain has a strong force on my writings. Light and darkness are the same to me. I pick my metaphors from my surroundings. Sometimes lines come to me just like that. Other times I make them up. Maybe as I sleep. Maybe at a poetry night.

Quote 3

I hate situational irony. I dislike verbal hypocrisy. I find it easier to write cynicism when I feel like being sarcastic.

I pay attention to sound. I prefer my poems to be read aloud but I don’t consider myself a spoken word artist. I used to like the pentameter but now I just write and think of order later where necessary.

I hate reading my own love poems but I love writing about love.

The Headline That Morning Book Launch

 First launch tsup
Sooo Many Stories launches Peter Kagayi’s debut poetry collection The Headline That Morning and Other Poems in a stage production entitled The Headline That Morning (script by Moses Serubiri and Peter Kagayi).
Date: June 8th, 2016
Venue: National Theatre
Books will be on sale at Ugx 20,000 and audio CDs at Ugx 15,000. Both cost Ugx 30,000.

See you there?

7/7: Jalada convos and Language anthology

I can’t wait for tomorrow. I can’t wait because the Jalada Language anthology will be live for all of us to read. As a publisher who has so many questions about writing in our local languages, this anthology means everything!

Source: jalada.org
Source: jalada.org

As a run up to the launch tomorrow, Jalada has had conversations with some writers from the continent. The conversations are eye-opening and very informative. If you haven’t read them, find them here:

1. Edwidge Dro and Richard Ali on language, writing in Lingala and closing the gap between Francophone and Anglophone world via literature.

…That’s why I said that we Francophone had reached a stage where that debate has become redundant. I think we are now at the stage of the conscience of any African writer: It is up to the African writer to pick up his pen and write in his language.

2. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Yvonne Oduor Adhiambo on the Englishes in Dust, juggling multi-narratives and languages that carry wounds…

I treat language as both a palette and also a container. And I think there’s this subversive self that wants to know, what would Luo sound like if it was English? So, there is that.

3. Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Chika Unigwe on language and culture, local languages in schools, her experience learning how to speak and write the Dutch language as an adult

One of the examples I always use because I think it’s so fascinating is the Igbo word, Ndo. And usually when Ndo is translated into English, it is translated as sorry. But Ndo is not sorry; so if I stub my toe or my mother-in-law stubs her toe and I tell her sorry, she tells me, oh, but it’s not your fault (laughter), because sorry has a certain implication of wrong, as if you’ve done something wrong. But if my mother were to stub her toe and I tell her, Ndo, she understands, because what Ndo has that sorry doesn’t have, is a certain level of empathy that sorry doesn’t have. Because Ndo says I feel for you and I feel with you, which is a very cultural concept, it’s a concept of we are all one, whatever hurts you hurts me too, which is absent in the Western world.

Save these dates:

4. Poetry on Independance Day

‘Kagayi and friends’ present WHO BROKE THE EMPEROR’S TESTICLES?! Ft. Ibrahim Balunywa, Norah Namara, Slim Emcee UG the Poet, Rashida Namulondo, Jungle de Maneater, Daniel Nuwamanya, Hawa Kimbugwe, Q-ureas, David Kangye, Raymond Mujuni, Derrick Rushongoza, Ejuku Marcus, Alex Kakuru, Peter Kagayi Peter and other undisclosed performers.

Come celebrate the memory of Uganda’s self-rule with poetry and a bonfire at the Uganda Museum on the night of Independence Day on Friday October 9 2015 at 7:30pm. Tickets will go on sale on September 30, but you can book now. For ticket-booking and ticket orders please call/whatsapp 0706-928-145.

5. You’ll be in excellent company if you join us for the inaugural Success Spark Brand Writing Retreat at the picturesque One-Minute South on Bulago Island from Friday 9 October toMonday 12 October 2015. The only requirements are that you are a lover of literature and writing, have intellectual curiosity and openness to new artistic experiences, and the desire to deepen your understanding of the creative process.

Here are the details:

INVITE4-edited-OCT

 

6. I recently came across this Ugandan food blog that I am loving for the crisp food photos and ingredients I can easily get and try out at home. If you love cooking, this should interest you: A Kitchen In Uganda

7. #NowReading The Dog In Question by Colleen Higgs. When she is not making rain for South African women writers, she writes shortstories such as this one:

I could explore in detail how I watched the dog, how I kept the child away from him. Kept him away from the child. How it started with the dog chewing her toys, shredding her clothes, her baby-gros, her blankets, her tiny little jerseys, her booties. I could fill in some of the back-story of how he nipped almost everyone who visited us, perhaps even everyone. I should tell you that I tried to make out that it was just a nip, no big deal. People were afraid of him, afraid of visiting us. I could tell you how in the years that we had the dog, we had few visitors, few friends in our home. And in the same breath I could write of how much the dog loved me, how devoted he was, how he liked nothing better than to be right next to me, almost touching me, and how reassuring I found this.

Have a wonderful week!

7/7 is Sooo Many Stories’ way of helping you beat the Monday blues. 7 things that are making me happy in the literary world.

Review: Kagayi’s poetry night isn’t just about him

20150824_175740

The last time we spoke about Peter Kagayi on this blog was when we were talking about the Lantern Meet’s schools outreach programme. He was still the Lamp/President of the Lantern Meet but he has since left. A few weeks ago Kagayi invited me to a new poetry night that he was putting together. I failed to make it for the first one but he said it was going to be a regular feature. I kept wondering how he was going to pull that off; perform his poetry every month.

At the Big Hut at National Theatre, Kagayi welcomed us and apologised for the delay. A piece of paper was handed out with the names and bios of the different performers for that night. An impressive line-up with names like Dr Charles Mulekwa, Beatrice Lamwaka, Xenson, Jungle De Man-eater and quite a number of students that were performing for the first or second time.

Most of the first timers read their poems from their phones so it wasn’t much of a performance from them although a good number of them were committed to the messages in their poems. The messages from the night varied from faith, body intrusion, experiences with the many beggars on our streets, and many of the poets were big on identity.

“In a country poorly governed, wealth is a shame.”- Derrick Achellam, Now I Will Be Great.

Beatrice Lamwaka read her poem from A Thousand Voices Rising both in Acholi and in English. She was the first of the poets to do a poem in her local language but wasn’t the last. Xenson in I am performed both in English and Luganda and Jungle De Man Eater, the Lusoflow artist, performed Mutaayi Wange in Lusoga.

“He who is behind the gun, lives forever.” Rachel Asio, We Want War

You have to watch Xenson at least once to really understand what he is about. I immensely enjoyed his carefully crafted lines and his word play (both in Luganda and English) is on another level. While his poems are potent with society-changing messages, you can tell he pays as much attention to the message as he does to the aesthetics of the poems.

Later when he was called up to talk about his poetry, he turned to the students to encourage them. He was a Sciences student, having come from a family of doctors who quit to join the arts where he felt his heart truly is. He now runs an Art For Wear Fashion label, has live grafitti performances and has performed at various poetry and hip-hop shows.

Alongside Ibrahim Balunywa’s name in my notes I wrote: One to watch! I first saw Balunywa perform at a Lantern Meet Poetry recital and his performance stuck in my head. At the poetry night he performed two poems, Can you Save The World? and another that was a tribute to another Ugandan poet, Slim MC. What I loved most about his performance last Tuesday was his incorporation of music in his performance. He had a reggae vibe going on complete with lines like “I am a Jah soldier” and that chaa! cry that musicians like Alaine shout out when they are performing. His word play is sick (for lack of a better word) and I reckon when he steps away from the reggae influence, he will be a much better performer. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with performers being influenced by whatever but when your influence is so heavy that it distracts  your message, it does you no favours. It does you no favours when “world” sounds like ” warrrr” when you perform especially if your writing is so good it needs no gimmicks. Other than that, I loved his message.

“Can you start a revolution even if it’s not televised?” Ibrahim Balunywa, Can You Save The World?

I was disappointed in just one performer, a first timer, reading his first poem that he confessed to have written 20 minutes prior to the show. Now I know there are writers that come already made but for most people, there is need to spend some time editing, rewriting and perfecting their work. Writers should never take for granted their audiences thinking that something they wrote just a few minutes before would be good enough.

Did Kagayi even perform? Yes he did. One poem. I later understood what the night is about. This  night is not a one man show. It is what it would feel like if Kagayi invited us to his home for poetry with his friends. He made sure to involve the audience as much as possible asking us to give feedback to some of the performers and asking whether the timing and the scheduling of the shows is comfortable with everybody. And it could be because he is a teacher, but you could see he is still very much into nurturing the younger poets encouraging them to keep at it after their performances. Because this show isn’t about the numbers but about the quality of the experience, it is exclusive but you can secure yourself a seat if you send Kagayi a message.

See you on 8th September for his next poetry night!

7/7: AWT’s Editorial Training workshop and other opportunities

77-2

1. In June last year I attended an Editorial Training Workshop that was organised by African Writers Trust and Commonwealth Writers. It is arguably one of the best things that happened to me last year. I had just started Sooo Many Stories and I was still figuring out the editorial part of it. The workshop could not have come at a better time.

After the workshop, I was offered an internship with Modjaji Books in Cape Town for six weeks-one of the best things that happened to me this year. I wrote about my experience with Modjaji Books here: http://www.doenculture.com/4825/en/my-six-weeks-internship-at-modjaji-books

The editorial workshop is back this year and you only have a week to apply. If you are a writer interested in knowing how you can edit your work  or if you are keen on seeing better editors in Uganda (you have seen the stuff our newspapers spew at us each and every day) this is for you. Just last week Daily Monitor gave us some pubic universities as you can see below. This is why we need Editors to be trained.

Source: @OlaraOlara
Source: @OlaraOlara

Here are the details of how you can apply: Call  For Applications For The 3rd Editorial And Publishing Training Programme.

2. Submit your short story to the  2015 Fabula Press Aestas Short Story Contest . The Contest is open to all writers 18 years old or above. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but more submissions do not necessarily translate into higher chances of winning. Here are The Contest Rules.

3. The first-annual Kampala Writers’ Conference will be a week-long intensive workshop for writers from across the world from 0ctober 6 to October 11. Featuring three faculty members—literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction/memoir writing—and with a focus on community and rigorous attention to craft, the Kampala Writers’ Festival will feature core morning workshops, afternoon panels and discussions, vibrant readings and open-mics.

To apply for the core morning workshops, fill in the application form here: Kampala Writers’ Conference Application Form

5. African Literature Today is looking for literary texts by African writers in which the protagonist returns to his/her ‘original’ or ancestral ‘home’ in Africa from other parts of the world.

Oxfeld and Long, writing on the ethnography of return suggest that it differs from globalization and transnationalism since ‘it is situated in particular events and experiences’ reflecting ‘particular historical, social, and personal contexts’ (2004: 3). Nevertheless, they go on to state that returns do have an effect not only on the communities the returnee leaves or joins but also on ‘global ways of relating and interacting with one another’ (2004: 3-4). Ideas of return—intentional and actual—have been a consistent feature of the literature of Africa and the African diaspora: from Equiano’s autobiography to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel, Americanah (2013).

The editors seek articles that explore ideas of ‘return’ to Africa, in fiction and literary non-fiction. For details on where to send the article follow: Call for Articles: African Literature Today

Deadline is September 15.

6. Earlier this year, in collaboration with the Danish Centre for Culture and Development , Femrite conducted a market survey for Ugandan Literature in Uganda. The team that conducted the survey was led by Pamela Batenga along with Mutale Ttendo and Gertrude Namayanja. Writers of The Pearl shares their findings in: Marketing Ugandan Literature: How To Get Ugandan Books Off The Shelves

7. The 2015 Babishai Niwe Poetry Festival is here. The festival begins with a conversation with Harriet Anena with some of the shortlisted poets and Prof Rem Raj, a Babishai Niwe Board member. The conversation will take place today at the Femrite offices on Kira Raod at 5:30pm.

See the rest of the festival programme here: 2015 Babishai Niwe Poetry Festival Programme

Have a great week!

7/7 is Sooo Many Stories’ way of helping you beat the Monday blues. 7 things that are making me happy in the literary world that will make you happy too!

#TBT: David Tumusiime and Ugandan writers in Kut

TBT-2

When you have a blog, it is so easy, sometimes, to get carried away with page views, Google analytics, Twitter analytics, impressions and the like. All those are important of course, but can sometimes take away the joy of something you really loved when you started. What do I do to remind myself why I started?

I read! And this is what I have been catching up on…

I have been reading short stories by David Tumusiime for a while now. He’s one of those people I am always happy to read. His stories Ray Kali and Seance on A Wet Afternoon have been published on this blog. In the recent past, he’s had two short stories published in The East African. Read them here:

This is not my life but Bernard doesn’t know

That Friday evening surprise was a dinner at Piato’s on Lumumba Avenue. He was already two Club beers happy in his wait, on first name basis with the chef. I did what I always do when we go out. I took his wallet away from him before I ordered our meals.

Whips and tears

He had tried to live without her. But he could not get through a day. He needed her. In the middle of a business meeting with a nervous client who was not sure he could secure the land title fast enough, all he had to do was get her on the phone. She had a friend in the land office who ensured there were no delays. She would calm his client and the deal would be clinched.

“I should be billing you for this,” she would say and they would laugh.

I’ve also been catching up on Kut, an online publication by Oduor Jagero. He describes Kut as “a collision of ideas that would mirror the state of our times…powerful short stories and poetry written by men and women sold to words that powerfully disrupt.”

Here are the links to some really powerful poems and stories by Ugandan writers in the first Kut edition:

Updating My CV by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

I lay with my legs astride, just

As he instructed.

He had a perfect shot.

I had been practicing my smile for weeks…

The Nudity Assembly by Harriet Anena

But tonight I’ll follow close by…and
give a name to the music your breasts make when they slap against your chest as you run
I’ll keep my ears alert…and
watch your butt rise and fall and tremble as you dance at the assembly…

The Last Card by Jackee Batanda

The game of matatu determined who did the killing.The voices turn into the hooded man. He sits quietly at the table. We form a triangle. The cards form the axis. He smiles. His teeth radiate. The game starts. He shuffles the cards. One. Two. Three. Four times. He distributes the turned-over cards. Seven to me. Seven to him. We grab our cards at the same time. Again for the first time see what we have. A heart. A diamond. A club. A heart. Another diamond. A queen. Mine. His…? He makes the first move. Again. My palms wet my cards as I wait for his move. A club over a club. My turn. His turn. My turn. His turn. Pick 5. Pick 2. His head is bent over. I can’t see his face. My hands quiver as I hold the last card. Tightly. The pressure might make it disappear.

On The Other Side of Saturday by Juliane Okot Bitek

Saturdays leave much to be desired:

Breakfast in bed for a tired woman

One day in the year, two, three — a bouquet of flowers

Weloveyouweloveyouweloveyouwedo

On A Ugandan Menu by Nansubuga Makumbi

His meal was raw. Five fingers of matooke – brownishly white, sappy. Four cassava chips – white and wet, longish. Two pieces of sweet potatoes – wide and white. Purple yam – one piece. Rings and rings of onion. Slices of tomato. And French beans – long and slender, whole. Juice was passion fruit…

Enjoy!