Yamkela TYWAKADI (fiction, nonfiction, South Africa) is a novelist, publisher, performer, and the founder of Blank Page Edu, a company that develops mobile apps and board games. Often working in South Africa’s native languages, she has published 15 books; her first, Andingombala Ndingumntu: IsiXhosa novel, is used in isiXhosa classes throughout the country. Ms. Tywakadi is on Mail & Guardian’s list of 200 Young South African Leaders for 2019. She participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg.
Panashe CHIGUMADZI (novelist, essayist; South Africa/Zimbabwe) is the author of the novel Sweet Medicine, which won the 2016 K. Sello Duiker Literary Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times,The Guardian,Die Zeit, and elsewhere. A founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform for black women in post-apartheid South Africa, she curated, in 2016, Soweto’s Abantu Book Festival for black readers and writers. Beautiful Hair for a Landless People is her forthcoming book of essays.
zp (Priya) DALA (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; South Africa) is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first novel, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Loss, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times and elsewhere. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S.
Sabata-mpho MOKAE (poet, nonfiction and fiction writer; South Africa) is the author of the poetry collection Escaping Trauma (2012) and the biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje (2010). His debut novel in Setswana, Ga Ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] (2012) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award; the youth novella Dikeledi [Tears] was launched in 2014. In 2011 he also won the South African Literary Award in the literary journalism category.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.