Emmanuel Sigauke, Lisa Dominguez Abraham and CRC Creative Writing Students || Monday, May 8 at 7:30

Emmanuel Sigauke teaches English at Cosumnes River College. He grew up in Zimbabwe where he graduated with a degree in English from the University of Zimbabwe. After this, he attended Sacramento state and graduated with a Masters in English. He has published poetry and short fiction. He is also the founding editor of Munyori Literary Journal and is on the boards of the Sacramento Poetry Center and Writers International Network Zimbabwe. He has edited African Roar, an anthology of African fiction, and has co-edited publication for Writivism, a program to promote African writers continent-wide. Emmanuel has been a judge for the Northen California Publisher’s Awards and the Writivism short story contest. His collection of poetry, Forever Let Me Go, was published in 2008. He is currently working on another collection entitled High Field.

Seeking Joji

The ngoro flew; hurtling us towards

Ranga’s death; he and one donkey

Out of two; when life was escaping.


But Ranga had it coming

From when the bullet at base grazed him

And made him abhor war,

Yet when independence came,

He said he was in war again.


Combat with time,

And we knew he would not last.

I was there too when it happened

Except I jumped

Before the ngoro twisted, snapped, and tipped,

Claimed one howling boy,

Crashed a surprised donkey.

I have lived to tell it all

But for years, I have remained mum.

Even on memories of the guerilla war

All those years ago,

To the new war of the stomach

Rocking the country between two rivers.


Lisa Dominguez Abraham’s poems have appeared in journals such as The Southern Review, Poetry East, and Tule Review. Her chapbook, Mata Hari Blows a Kiss, recently won the Swan Scythe Press Prize and is forthcoming in June. Her full-length manuscript, Paper Maps, is a semifinalist for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize. She teaches at Cosumnes River College.


Not birds but a sculptor has gathered

Hansel and Gretel’s dropped bread crumbs


and glued them into a tiny loaf of bread

strategically lit to glisten


as an art installation. He’s also built

a drum kit from the towel-wrapped water jug


a teenager dropped as she made her way north

through dust and scorpions.


Art aficionados walk around the kit,

study an unknown girl’s despair.


Some sense she makes it from Sinaloa

where teenagers wield guns


all the way to the candied land where she

sorts grapes for artists who make wine.


It’s unclear which side of the border

is home or oven


as she stands beside other masked women,

quick hands working to send


whatever she can

from a thin paycheck south.

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