Frank M. Chipasula (Frank Mkalawile Chipasula) Biography
(1949– ), (Frank Mkalawile Chipasula), Visions and Reflections, O Earth Wait for Me, Nightwatcher, Nightsong
Malawian poet, born in Luanshya, Zambia; he was educated at the Universities of Zambia and Malawi and became a citizen of Malawi. After working as a freelance broadcaster with the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and as an editor with the National Education Company of Zambia, he came under threat from the Malawian authorities as a political dissenter and entered voluntary exile in America in 1978. He gained higher degrees at Brown University and Yale and became an Associate Professor of Black Literature at the University of Nebraska. His earlier work is contained in Visions and Reflections (1972) and O Earth Wait for Me (1980), both published in Zambia. The long poem Nightwatcher, Nightsong (1986), the first of his books to be published in America, was followed in 1991 by the substantial collection Whispers in the Wings. Chipasula's poetry is characterized by the passionate conviction and power of its testimony to conditions of tyranny and injustice in Malawi. His verse draws equally on the folk idioms of Malawi and Zambia and the ironic sophistication of modern Western traditions. He is the editor of the anthologies A Decade of Poetry (1980) and When My Brothers Come Home: Poems from Central and Southern Africa (1985).