Jack's new poems are boldly lyrical narratives, cunningly crafted in mesmerising spirals. His voice is ironically cheerful, his tone impotently angry – but confidentially measured with wit and humour. He fears the saying ‘once a prisoner always a prisoner’, and questions why prisons refuse to go away. Read Beasts of Nalunga as the soul struggling to liberate itself, and fighting against the beasts of silences that were once rampant in the African despotic regime under which Mapanje matured, silences that threaten to continue today, even in distant homes and variegated exiles.
Beasts of Nalunga has also been nominated for the Forward Prize.
published on: 17th July 2007