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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mix of poetry and prose

Title: Painted Voices
Writer: The Readers and Writers Club of Femrite
Reviewer: Dennis D. Muhumuza
Available at: Aristoc bookstore and Femrite offices
Price: Shs10000
If you thought poetry was a complicated language spoken and understood by sages and recluses, wait till you pore over Painted Voices (Vol. 11). A serial to the 2008 edition, Painted Voices (2009) is a collection of 44 poems and two short stories on the whole human experience; poems on growing up, on school life and self discovery, love and pain, dreams and desperation, on heroes and heroines and on the beauty of the heavens and the earth.
Hail Diego Maradona is for example on the on-field brilliance of the former Argentine soccer star, while Dr Susan Kiguli is a tribute to the Makerere University lecturer and poet by that name.
The poems are written in everyday language in a colourful style, avoiding the complexity of poetic devices, but striking that balance of wit and originality that has kept the love of this genre deep for a very long time.
Full of images and bustling with emotion, some poems stir up old memories, and will dig up all that mirth hidden within you, or make you cry if you happen to be the sensitive specimen.
Yet others like Philo Nabweru’s The Melody are simple and playful like the beautiful lyric that sends a sorrowing baby sweetly to sleep. 20 of the poems are blended with paintings that attempt to capture the thoughts and mood of the subject, thanks to the collaboration between the writers and fine artists.
As for the two short stories, The Miracle of Life by Sophie Brenda Alal is about a young man who’s dealt a cruel blow by fate, while Beatrice Lamwaka’s I Always Know is about a girl who escapes from her kidnappers and is determined to win the race.
Painted Voices falls under the Poetry-Poster project that is out to hook students to poetry and encourage the spread of creative writing and reading in secondary schools. It’s a creation of the Readers and Writers Club of Femrite – the Uganda Women Writers Association.
--Sunday Monitor, May 10, 2009