Literary affair in memory of poet Penny
Beaven Tapureta Bookshelf
The newly published “Tribute to Penny” (Forteworx Press), an anthology of poems and prose composed in memory of the late poet and award-winning journalist Brian T Penny, will be launched on Saturday evening, April 21, 2018, at Shingirai Conference Centre in Mbare.
Writers, workmates, actors, family and friends will gather from 5pm to 8pm to celebrate the life and works of Brian Tafadzwa Penny, a writer and journalist who died in a car accident last year in December.
The accident also claimed the life of his young brother’s wife.
According to event organisers, the book launch is also being held to raise funds for the widow, Monica Chikondowa, to help her start a self-help project.
The launch, spiced with some speeches, poetry performances and readings by friends of Penny drawn from the local arts ‘cosmos’, will really be a deserved elevation of one whose few but profound writings and other artistic work touched many hearts in different ways.
The family members of the late Penny will also attend the commemoration.
Mylton Chitsime, with whom Penny ran the publishing company Forteworx Press which is hosting the event in collaboration with Mbare Arts Guild, told Bookshelf that the commemorative anthology features fellow poets from various youthful online literary groups or platforms to which Penny was an affiliate, such groups as Writers Clinic, Writeprenuers and Winzim Classic.
“The book will be auctioned also and all the proceeds will go into the purse of the deceased’s wife,” said Chitsime.
He added that the event has been organised to give a chance to those who did not manage to attend the funeral in Chimanimani to bid farewell to Penny.
“Tribute to Penny”, packed with poems in Ndebele, Shona and English languages, is but an outcry of various voices questioning directly or indirectly the meaning of life and death when an emotionally devastating sudden death of a best friend happens.
It is also a book expressing undying friendship.
We have seen fellow musicians composing touching songs after losing a friend and such is the spirit the writers have mustered in the anthology.
While Bookshelf will not say much about the book as it helped in its editing, it is true the book will be a permanent example of love and gratitude being offered from writing friends for all that Penny achieved in his short life.
The young authors and poets to take part in the programme include Chenjerai Mhondera, Samkheliso K S Chuka, Nkosiyazi Kan Kanjiri and Vine Ziwani.
However, the event organisers said they had to be strong because of challenges which they met along the way before they came up with a final programme.
Martin Matamba who is the Mbare Arts Guild coordinator and one of the organizers, urged artists, especially of the younger generation, to hold hands, unite and celebrate their heroes, either living or departed.