Steve Chimombo (265 words)

  • Fiona Johnson Chalamanda (University of Stirling)

Steve Chimombo was born in 1945 in Zomba, Malawi, the old colonial capital. He attended the Zomba Catholic Secondary School and took his BA at the University of Malawi, and then gained postgraduate degrees at the University of Wales and Columbia University in the USA where his exposure to modernist writers such as T.S. Eliot influenced his poetic voice, which was already steeped in Malawian oral culture. His early poetry is characterised by irony, suggestiveness and compression, suited to the claustrophobic climate of writing under the paranoid censorship of Hastings Kamuzu Banda's regime, as in this example from his Napolo Poems:

In the aftermath of Napolo,
I emerge from the chaosis
and march down …

Chalamanda, Fiona Johnson. "Steve Chimombo". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 24 October 2016.]