"'Jack Mapanje's early poems, written under Banda's dictatorship, had to be cryptic. Poems written in prison and published after his release were, necessarily, very angry. His latest work is mellower and more mordant in tone. But the conscience, the wit and the craftsmanship which it displays have characterised his work from the beginning. His wholly original, unsubdued voice is still unlike that of any other poet writing in English, from Africa or anywhere' - Angus Calder; 'The poems have a raging clarity; the chameleon has become the chattering wagtail...Don't read this because Mapanje was detained, another human rights victim. Read it because he made poetry out of the experience - sardonic, inventive, lyrical testimonies to a generous and enduring spirit' - Landeg White, Stand; 'Given the regime, Mapanje's satire can seem strangely generous, impressively blending the memory of terror with a sense almost of farce when he considers his captors' - Sean O'Brien, Sunday Times; 'An African talent whose poetry effectively overthrew the dictator' - David Rubadiri, Vice-Chancellor, University of Malawi"
About the Author
Jack Mapanje is a Malawian poet, linguist, editor and human rights activist and was formerly head of the English department at the University of Malawi. He was imprisoned on 25 September 1987 by the Dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi for his dissenting views and radical poetry. Upon his release on 10 May 1991 he went into exile with his family in the UK. He has published five books of poetry, edited one anthology of African prison writing and co-edited two anthologies of African oral and written poetry and an African Writers Handbook.