A Conversation With Harriet Anena.

On Friday, July 8, 2016, the book club section of Turn The Page was blessed with the presence of the wonderful Harriet Anena.


Harriet Anena

Harriet Anena is the Kampala based author of A Nation In Labour, her debut collection of some dark, and others mellow, but all brilliant and rather quite bold, reflective poems about what can generally be considered as the complexities of life – in all its forms.

She joined us for an author appearance following an invitation extended to her as our writer of interest for the month of July, 2016.

Anena took us through her career by responding to posed questions. That, she revealed, started with her experiences from growing up in Northern Uganda. Writing, she said, provided her with the therapeutic release she needed to escape from the traumatic times of the day. Her break came when, after five years of working with Daily Monitor, a leading local daily, and, later, after meeting other creative people in entities like FEMRITE and Writivism, she decided to invest in self-publishing her work in 2015. The rest, like they say, is history. A Nation In Labour was well received, both locally and beyond. It was launched in Nairobi, where she also had four interactive sessions at the Story Moja festival there, and was also profiled on BBC’s Focus on Africa.

We had readings of several of our and her favourite poems as taken from A Nation In Labour and reflected upon each one of them in an engaging discussion that went on till we were asked to leave the premises.
On April 26, 2016, Anena put up a beautiful show, at the Uganda National Cultural Centre, of a political erotica that was aptly dubbed I Bow For My Boobs – one of the poems from her book. It was her first performance. She relayed to us, when we met, that the same will be rerun during the Writivism Festival in August, 2016.

Harriet Anena’s A Nation In Labour has been reviewed by Raymond Lule, who writes for the reviews section of Turn The Page. Her book is also available for purchase on the bookstore section.

We are sincerely grateful to those who shared their company, and those who followed the conversation remotely by way of our #TTPBookMeet Twitter medium, and continue to encourage both seasoned readers and budding ones to join us for our forthcoming meetings. As per schedule, the next one will take place on July 22, for an interactive reading and discussion of Binyavanga Wainaina’s One Day I Will Write About This Place.