October 11 is a big hosting day for me and SPC, when I present the Mlalazi-Slate double feature. Chris Mlalazi, a Zimbabwean novelist, has written and published poetry and plays. He usually reads his short prose, but on this day he will also share some of his poetry. I have known Chris through the internet for a long time, and on July 31st, I had the priviledge to share the stage with him on Los Angeles, when Eso Won Bookstore co-featured us. We read our proetry and prose and launched the recently published short story collection, "African Roar", which I co-edited with South Africa-based Zimbabwean writer, Ivor W. Hartmann. I am very happy that Chris will be reading at SPC. Below are some details:
Villa Aurora’s 2010 Feuchtwanger Fellow, Zimbabwean writer Christopher Mlalazi’s two books, Dancing with Life (2008, amaBooks), a collection of short stories, Many Rivers (2009, Lion Press, Ltd., UK), a novel, and his latest play Election Day (2010), deal with the social and political disintegration of his native Zimbabwe. In 2008 he was co-awarded the OXFAM NOVIP PEN Freedom of Expression Award at the Hague, which he received with Raisedon Baya for their play The Crocodile of Zambezi. The Crocodile of Zambezi (2008), a satire of the Mugabe regime set in a fictional country along the Zambezi River, was officially banned and members of its cast and crew were harassed and beaten by state agents. Christopher Mlalazi’s work has received numerous honors and awards, including the ‘2009 Best First Published Creative Work, National Arts Merit Award in Zimbabwe’ for Dancing with Life: Tales from the Township, which also received the NOMA Award Honorable Mention(UK) in 2009; Many Rivers was shortlisted for the 2010 National Merit Award for Most Outstanding Book of Fiction. He has also published poetry in several international anthologies. Mr. Mlalazi has completed a new novel while in residence at Villa Aurora.