“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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“A nation turning into a mortuary” as an “experiment in human suffering”. This is an example of how powerful Richard Otwao’s poetry is: using deceptively simple diction and imagery, he vividly captures the tragedy that African countries have suffered in different situations of war, dictatorship, deprivation, disease, and insult, to mention but a few. With delicate irony and humour, he shows us that not all is lost, for if we mediate upon our deeds and will ourselves into loving our fellow human beings a little more, we can salvage something from the mess we have put our countries, and ourselves, into.”
-Dr Danson Sylvester Kahyana, Senior Lecturer in Literature, Makerere University
This book, the first anthology of its kind, encompasses poems collected from 3 different national High School poetry programs. It could perhaps be the only book of this kind in East Africa.