Tjawangwa Dema: The Careless Seamstress
Malcolm X Community Centre, 141 City Rd, Bristol BS2 8YH
18:45 – 19:30
Winner of the 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry, Bristol-based Motswana poet Tjawangwa Dema launches her new collection The Careless Seamstress. U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith has called Dema’s poems ‘as bold, roving, and insistent as they are delicate and incisive’.
The Careless Seamstress, evokes the national and the subjective while re-emphasizing that what is personal is always political. The girls and women in these poems are not mere objects; they speak, labor, and gaze back, with difficulty and consequence. The tropes are intentionally familiar, but in their animation they question and move in unexpected ways. The female body—as a daughter, wife, worker, cultural mutineer—moves continually across this collection, fetching water, harvesting corn, raising children, sewing, migrating, and spurning designations. Ultimately this is a collection as much preoccupied with domesticity as it is by the worldly.
In partnership with The African Poetry Book Fund.