Wide-ranging and polyvocal, an/other pastoral questions what we imagine to be the boundaries between humans and nature. History, belonging and race converge with climate crisis, ecosystems and care in these startling and vibrant poems by Tjawangwa Dema.

With illustrations by Tebogo Cranwell and a foreword by Chris Abani, an/other pastoral is a compelling collection that refuses easy representations of where nature can be found, and what it means to be human now.


Tjawangwa Dema is author of The Careless Seamstress (University of Nebraska Press, 2018) and winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Her chapbook Mandible (Slapering Hol, 2014) was published as part of the New-Generation African Poets box set series.

She has received fellowships and residencies from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, Northwestern University’s Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and the Danish International Visiting Artist program, amongst others. Tjawangwa has given readings/facilitated workshops in over twenty countries. Her poetry and essays on poetic pedagogies have been featured in various publications, most recently New Daughters of Africa, Botswana Women Write and the MLA’s Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media.

Tjawangwa sits on a number of poetry festival and institute boards and is former Honorary Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol, UK. Her poetry has mostly recently been translated into a German collection with a Portuguese translation forthcoming in 2023. Tjawangwa’s latest collection is an/other pastoral (No Bindings, 2022).


‘In riveting lines, Tjawangwa Dema shows that “all nature speaks if we listen.” Her speakers both listen and see. Her steady gaze reveals an earth as layered with history as striations in rock. By the end, we may discover the shape of listening, the “body, that first country to which [we] belong”.’

—Gabeba Baderoon

‘An/other pastoral is a tapestry of heartfelt musings that move across histories and cultures, questioning their impact and purpose. Dema decodes the world around us – here we are, between what the borders mean by country, and what the nightingale and eel mean by wind, by water. This book is full of revelations.’

—Nick Makoha

‘This collection is a powerful expression of a diasporic African ecopoetics. With an intense vision and unique voice, Tjawangwa Dema poignantly addresses themes of racial, environmental, food, animal, and climate justice.’

—Craig Santos Perez

‘Vivid, engaging and highly inventive, […] an extraordinarily assured and deeply moving new collection that will stand as one of the very finest new books of poetry for years to come.’

—John Burnside

‘Precise and unforgettable.’

—Jessica J Lee

‘A collection brimming with hot light. Each poem has its own tidal pull.’

—Nina Mingya Powles

‘An/other pastoral unravels its curious, intimate lyricism through engaged reflection on beauty and suffering, the life of the human and the natural “other”.’

—Samantha Walton

AN/OTHER PASTORAL is for sale through Porcupine Press.


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