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Poetry from the Horn of Africa

Friday, March 9, 2012

On March 6, Warscapes magazine—a welcome newcomer to the international arts, politics, and literary scene edited by the passionate Bhakti Shringarpure—hosted “An Evening of Poetry from the Horn of Africa,” a night I won’t soon forget.

Gambit (The Art of Creating) No. 4 - Suzanne Ushie

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perhaps it’s her career in advertising that makes Suzanne a professional. I mean the practiced ease with which she responded to my questions, which although we corresponded via email, I could feel. And I am humbled by how someone with so much talent can be undemanding, moderately ambitious, as though the estimate of the literary world counts less than her estimate of her craft. There are a handful of Suzanne’s stories out there, but each story differs in range of vision, in outlook. Easily, we find a writer in search of something other than fame, something deeper, more human. Please ensure to click the links on the page this conversation appears.

Writing in Motion: A Nation Divided

Gambit (The Art of Creating) No. 3 - Donald Molosi

Monday, February 20, 2012

I hope it will be clear, upon completion of this project, that Gambit is interested in a multifaceted rendering of artistic indulgence. That said, Donald Molosi is an example of an artist I hope to become – standing readily at the point where art out-ranges technique or form. I am equally learning that artists can be good friends, irrespective of virtual distances. I am keen to call Donald my friend, especially because he is the quickest, so far in these series, to respond to questions. His energy overwhelmed mine.

The Overlooked Singapore: An Interview with Dave Chua

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Singaporean writer Dave Chua won a Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1996 for his novel Gone Case, which he recently adapted into a two-volume graphic novel in collaboration with artist and writer Koh Hong Teng. The second volume was released in October 2011. Mr.

Gambit (The Art of Creating) No. 2 - Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I was infected by Abubakar’s simplicity as we exchanged emails and spoke on phone. I recall my uncle speaking about simplicity being the hallmark of vast knowledge, and the depth of intellection. If that’s true, then Abubakar’s responses are measured anecdotes that display an understanding of his role as a Nigerian writer. What I perceived was that his convictions were deep-seated, irrevocable, even irrefutable. I have followed his work since 2007 when he won the BBC Play Writing Competition. An open secret is that we are being published by the same publisher this year – Parresia.

Bricks in the Wall

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dave Chua’s award-winning Gone Case takes a familiar literary genre, the bildungsroman, and sets it in late 20th-century Singapore, with poignant results. Twelve-year-old Yong struggles with schoolwork, develops a crush on a friend’s older sister, weathers threats of violence from a bully, and takes care of his younger brother, all while watching his parents’ marriage fall apart.

Until She Disappears

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If melancholy can be sweet, then The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am (Dalkey, 2011) is just that. Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s debut novel, which won Norway’s Tarjei Vesaas's debutantpris (2009), provides a brief, sentimental glimpse into what it means to be lonely. The gloom of such a weighty (and tried) theme is relieved, refreshingly, by the narrator, Mathea, an aging introvert who is charmingly naïve, occasionally funny, often whimsical, but always … sad.

Gambit (The Art of Creating) No. 1 - Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The following conversation took place via email. Between Novuyo and myself, we exchanged about 35 emails, in which I was greatly moved by her dedication (as you would see) to her writing, her understanding of her craft, and her willingness to engage. I have never met Novuyo in person, but it feels as though I have known her for a long time. Indeed, there are few of the writers scheduled in this series that I can recognize from a distance. I am yet to fully come to terms with what this means, suggests.

Queer in Singapore: GASPP!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose (2010) comes with a breath of the sensational, from its title to its cheeky cover, exploiting the contradiction of a celebration of homosexual culture in staid Singapore. It’s both warranted and unnecessary at once—while homosexual sex acts (specifically man to man) continue to be criminalized by Singapore law, homosexuality seems to be condoned or tolerated by law enforcement and much of the citizenry, though not by more conservative and traditional segments of society.