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Zimbabwean poets visit Wales on reading tour

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 13:30 UK time, Thursday, 10 June 2010

ethel-kabwato-emyr-young-01.jpg

British Council Wales has brought two Zimbabwean poets to Wales for the launch of their recently published poetry collection.

Blessing Musariri and Ethel Kabwato are currently touring Wales following the launch of Sunflowers In Your Eyes, which has been edited by acclaimed Welsh author Menna Elfyn and published by north Wales-based publishers Cinnamon Press.

The authors will be at Lloyd George Museum in Llanystumdwy this evening from 5.30pm, having already visited Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Bangor and appeared at the Hay Festival.

Ethel Kabwato has written a poem about her arrival in Wales and has also written the following introduction:

"When I arrived in Cardiff I was inspired by the warmth of the Welsh people to write a poem, A Tale of Cardiff's New Arrivants. Some of the street names had a certain familiarity and reminded me of home in Zimbabwe.

"Cardiff is rich in culture. Art is on the street where you live, on the faces of the people you meet in shops, at the bay, in shopping malls and in places where we read our work. The Welsh people live art.

"I am really excited to be here and can't wait to meet our audiences as we tour this beautiful country!"

Ethel Kabwato © Emyr Young

A Tale of Cardiff's New Arrivants

They found a new home
Along Bute Street
And called the street
In the same way they
Used to back home
Before they discovered
The route number 6 bus
Which would take them
To St Mary's
And St David's
To the market
To the graffiti along
Christina Street
And to the basements
Along the narrow street
They call Lloyd George
They tasted
The addictive
Welsh cakes
On the little street
Behind the harbour
And forgot
About the boat ride
And the Number 6
They watched
As the sun shone
Over Cardiff Bay
And they dreamt
Allowed
And talked
To their shadows
While basking
In the warmth
Of its beauty
As it welcomed
Them in the summer
Croeso i Gymru
(Welcome to Wales)

(Introduction and poem © Ethel Kabwato. Photographs © Emyr Young.)

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