BY SHARON SIBINDI
BULAWAYO-BASED award-winning poet and novelist John Eppel said there was a growing interest in his and Zimbabwean writings from China as he basks in the glory of attaining international recognition after one of his poems Jasmine was recently translated into Chinese by academic Yiyan Han.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Eppel said he was happy to get such recognition for his poem that was published in 1995.
“There seems to be growing interest in my writing and Zimbabwean writing in general from China. I am told that my novel, Absent: the English Teacher is popular there and one academic has contacted me with the intention to translate it into Mandarin,” he said.
Eppel said Weaver Press, the publishers of the poem had given her (Yiyan Han) permission to translate the poem.
“The poem, Jasmine was first published in 1995 in my second collection of poems, titled Sonata for Matabeleland. Han came across it sometime later in a British newspaper where it had been chosen as a poem of the week,” he said.
“Jasmine is a poem with a sub-text of reconciliation. I think my recent work is now becoming less satirical, less angry, something to do with growing old. I call it a biological wind-down and more resigned, more sympathetic to the human condition.”
Recently, Eppel penned a protest poetry book Pressed Flowers: Poems of Resistance which has 60 poems that feature tyrants and their victims from Rhodesian times to the present and was published by Mwanaka Publishers.
Early this year, during lock-down he embarked on penning his childhood memoirs on Facebook to entertain his social media followers.
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