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In 100 thought-provoking textually original poems, Mildred Kiconco Barya explores elements of time and space on the landscapes of memory, observation and experience at individual points and collective levels. The poet uses motion as a connecting thread for the seven parts of human experiences and livelihoods – revolving lives, stormy heart, before the sun sinks, the pain of tenderness, shame has a place, the shape of dreams, and until the last breath is drawn – to herald an inspiring collection of maturity and tenderness.
“Each generation sees itself as transitional, skipped, but each has its role to play – as the poet has her dharma. The poet in Give Me Room to Move My Feet uses the grounding by grandma to help her go deeper, higher and wider.
In dialectical ‘oppositing’ lines and dialogue, Barya delves into the contradictions about love, loss, and betrayal – by the selfish who took advantage of idealists and by the lover who after goading us on preferred to be somewhere else. In deeply personal explorations, the poet breaks down and mends herself through spirituality, religion, and poetry, bringing back to life what seemed to be dead.
The poet never stops loving Mother Africa. She wants us to know what has happened and what could happen. We cannot dwell on cruelty and devastation because it is too much but the poet is experienced and knows the price of memory so there must not be total forgetfulness or else we lose the ability to have healing dreams. She concludes with a prayer mapping the way to peace.” - Peter Nazareth, Professor of English & Advisor International Writing Program, University of Iowa, USA.
Mildred Kiconco Barya’s first book of poetry, Men Love Chocolates But They Don’t Say (2002), won the National Poetry Award in Uganda. The Price of Memory After the Tsunami, her second collection, was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. Her short stories include ‘Scars of Earth’, ‘Effigy Child’, ‘Those Days of Ebola’ and ‘Land of My Bones’. Barya was born in Uganda and educated at Makerere University, Uganda; Moi University, Kenya and the International Women’s University, Germany.