Cheswayo Mphanza is a writer born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in Chicago, Illinois, whose work focuses on intersecting the shared cultural past of people across the Black diasporic community. His work has been featured in the New England Review, The Paris Review, Hampden-Sydney Review, Lolwe, Birdfeast, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Hurston/Wright Foundation, Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Columbia University. A finalist for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, a recipient of the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, and winner of the 2020 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest, his debut collection The Rinehart Frames, is the winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He earned his MFA from Rutgers-Newark.
Zambia: Tomorrow the Moon!
Cheswayo Mphanza is a writer born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in Chicago, Illinois, whose work focuses on intersecting the shared cultural past of people across the Black diasporic community.Artist Bio
Zambia: Tomorrow the Moon! is a meta-documentary hybrid poetry/prose project that imagines and re-imagines a cavalcade of fictional Zambian writers, political and historical figures from the 17th to the 20th century. The project primarily focuses of the historicization of Maunda Phiri, who over the course of four decades wrote four seminal hybrid books considered to be the advent of experimentalism and the avant-garde in African writing, and Edward Makuka Nkoloso, a pioneer in Afrofuturism and Black Existentialism. Zambia: Tomorrow the Moon! explores how documentary poetry and fiction can engage with the possibilities tethered to historical events and people. It is about constructing narratives that archives cannot offer to marginalized communities across the Black diaspora, in turn, creating a meta-archive with its writing, rewriting, and citing of the past. A meta-archive that reflects upon itself through an interplay of creativity and our presumptions of what are historical facts or fictions.