“Artistically, it is one of the most engaging anthologies I have read in a very long time. Each poem is special for the way it seems to roll off your tongue. The pattern of rhythm and sound of the words or prosody is enhanced, line on line, by enjambment as feelings spill while carrying the run of the poet’s thought from one line to the next without a syntactical break. The substance of these feelings are so powerful, even tragic.”
– Phillip Matogo, Poet, Author, Critic
“I come from a tree of chromosomes who define manhood by the number of girls we can psychologically mess up but leave them beautiful at the same time,
Girls think I tell them nice words for no good reason but I’m a spoilt poet spoilt by nothing and no one but his mind–
There’s no degree of measurement of the extent I can carefully dissect your sister’s beauty and lay it all down before her like the word beauty was only designed in reference to her,
Leave her blushing
Leave her blinking
Leave her thinking
And Leave her dashing at the only one who can speak, and make her eat, nice words like love
Words like curves
Words like dubs
I mean Words like rubs because I’m a spoilt poet.”
‘Verse In Vac’ was initially the name of a performance poetry show to be staged in November 2014 by a clique of teenagers in Senior 4 vacation, mostly from St. Mary’s College Kisubi and Nabisunsa Girls School. Mentored and trained by Kagayi Ngobi, the name ‘Verse In Vac’ was coined from the phrase ‘Poetry in Vacation’. To make the phrase as cool as the poets, the word poetry was substituted with ‘verse’ and vacation was referred to by its urban slang version ‘vac’ commonly used by High School students in Uganda. The team staged a poetry show under a new title ‘Listen To Me Speak’ at the Uganda National Theatre, Kampala and in effect decided to allow other students like them to have a similar opportunity to enjoy poetry.
Publishing Particulars of the book*
Format: Paperback & Kindle Version
Language: English, Luganda, Ateso, Rukiga
Number Of Pages: 143
Publisher: Kitara Nation
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“On the whole, this book is a triumph for the author and The Poetry Series by KITARA NATION. The lexical arrangements uplift its rhythm with a triumph of apostrophic repetition that is typical of Kitara’s style (For the mood has changed/And the boys have changed/ And the girls have changed/ And the boss has changed). Each part of the book (which is accompanied by illustrations) is heightened to the echo chamber of history. Oh yes, these words will ring through time.”
– Phillip Matogo, poet, author, critic.
“I think of Rusho’s LIGHT as an act of taking the veil off the world; of the man he is, and that of the people around him. I am deliberate about calling it an act because it’s memory in motion. Each poem dances below a bulb at its own tempo and intent. Some of them seek it, the spot, while others avoid it so that the pains and injustices in their bodies aren’t seen. But a lot is on display still, even during moments of darkness. Questions about gender and the human body, loss, relationships, the country, self, and so on. I admire the bravery by which he writes about himself. What drives a man to speak about himself with such honesty? The only way to find out is by diving into the poems he presents as a mirror.
-Lule ssebo Lule, author of OGENDA WA?
“No speaking Vernacular was beautifully performed; humourous, witty, revealing. I thought the play clearly brought out the shortcomings of an education system that wholly demonizes the use of native languages in schools. No Speaking Vernacular pits Mr. Full stop, the John Speke High School Headteacher against Dambya, (Nsubuga Muhammad) a renegade vernacular speaker. Dambya’s sin is using the Luganda word ‘gwe’ which Mr Full stop considers an unforgivable breach of Article 23 of the school Regulations.
In punishment, Dambya suffers the minimum punishment prescribed by the regulations. He is caned. He is forced to wear old sisal sackcloth, a bone around his neck, and a placard bearing the words: “I am stupid. I speak Vernacular.”
– Herbert Okello Andrew, Lawyer, teacher.