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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, poet Dzikamayi Chando releases his debut poetry book, Cremation Of The Scarecrow, examining the reality of Black lives and all the complexities contained therein.

Cremation Of The Scarecrow

Written by Dzikamayi Chando, ‘Cremation of the Scarecrow’ is the kind of poetry that gets to the heart of the human experience, navigating diverse themes with a bittersweet authenticity usually reserved for more seasoned writers. While Chando has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, this is the first time his poetry is available as a fully formed collection, examining the reality of Black lives and all the complexities contained therein.

Publisher Samantha Vazhure was intimately familiar with Dzikamayi Chando’s poetry, having witnessed his work published in various literary anthologies and magazines. When Vazhure invited Chando to submit a full manuscript to Carnelian Heart Publishing, he delivered a collection of singular brilliance, entitled ‘Cremation of the Scarecrow’.

Cremation Of The Scarecrow by Dzikamayi Chando on The Table Read
Cremation Of The Scarecrow

A diverse collection, ‘Cremation of the Scarecrow’ lays bare the poet’s heart, discussing the agonies of poverty, the scourge of drug abuse, depression, death and conversely, love and hope.

Unusually, Chando often chooses to centre women in his poetry, empowering them through the beauty of his words and shedding light on the particular injustices they face. As he writes, “women are the grass where two elephants are fighting, victims of their own ignorance in oppressive politics, culture and religion.”

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Poetry by Dzikamayi Chando

In his debut collection of poems, Chando salvages words from the wreckage of time and rummages through the rubble of his own world in search of self. This communiqué is the tesserae emanating from the mélange of his flotsam and jetsam, a decree that the purpose of life, in all its forms, is found in the freedom of thought and expression.  

“…and to the gatekeepers

denying the rusted hinges movement
like stilt walkers scared of gravity,
sitting in the skulls of stillborns
and telling the mothers to go home,
swallowing flowers and flossing
their teeth in the withering spring,
measuring mercy with teaspoons
and dispensing it with tremoring hands,
fencing their fancies with ancient fire:

I was born to play with fire
and this poem is my scar”

A Journey Of Self Discovery

“This collection was truly a journey of self discovery,” says Chando. “There’s so much truth that I can speak, from not only my own experiences but also from what I’ve learned from others. What it’s like to live in a ghetto, to be poor and lonely or heartbroken – what it’s like to exist as a woman with powerful men all around you and what it’s like to be a person who feels they are struggling – mentally or spiritually.”

Continuing, “Above all, my message is one of hope. That we can all be better, and evolve to live peacefully – without racism, fascism and other blights on society.  Of course I have a fire inside of me – that’s why I write! And when you can get your words out to the world, and be understood – that’s powerful. It’s beautiful. It’s why I do what I do.”

Early reviews for the book have been overwhelmingly positive. 

Dzikamayi Chando on The Table Read
Dzikamayi Chando

“The poetry is unflinchingly honest yet at the same time coursed through with compassion, humanity and a quietly transcendent optimism. Contemporary Zimbabwean literature has many fine voices – Dzikamayi Chando belongs firmly among their number,” writes Marian van Oorschot. “

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About Dzikamayi Chando

Dzikamayi Chando was born and raised in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Some of his works appear in several online literary publications and he sits on a chest of unpublished poetry written over many years. He loves ice cream and still considers Pluto a proper planet.  

About Carnelian Heart Publishing

Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure established Carnelian Heart Publishing Ltd to publish her own books in the first instance, where she advocates equality, mental health, the welfare of women and children, empowerment of women and survivors of abuse, the welfare of immigrants, amongst other causes. She decided to expand the publishing business by offering her services to other authors, and by helping specific groups of writers to get onto the global scene, in order to amplify their voices as part of her advocacy work.

Through this platform, Samantha seeks the most authentic voices from the most unlikely places, to bring a new flavour of story-telling to global readers.

Find more now:

‘Cremation of the Scarecrow’ is available now: https://amzn.to/3PaazOI

Visit the Publisher’s website: www.carnelianheartpublishing.co.uk.

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