Our great grandfathers forgot,
To teach our grandfathers,
To teach our fathers to give,
Our mothers room to breathe.

Batsirai Chigama



“The poems in this collection vividly bring life to the page as we experience it on a daily basis and help us see and contemplate it, probably in slightly different ways than before. “

– Brain Garusa, Book Fantastics

For Women Trying to Breathe & Failing

NAMA Trophy
5 Stars

Winner of the National Arts Merit Award for Outstanding Poetry Collection

For Women Trying to Breathe and Failing by Batsirai Chigama

“It makes the reader contemplate the many selves that a woman can be.”


“This is an anthology about rage, accountability, struggle and courage. It’s not a pity party but it’s rooted in self-awareness and a desire for an alternative narrative (one that is not rooted in oppression and one that women can write themselves).”

Rutendo Chichaya, RehabAndRelapse

About Batsirai Chigama

Batsirai Chigama (Zimbabwe) is a performer, poet, literary activist, and social commentator. City of Asylum described her work as “surprising, shocking, and skillfully deliberate work,” and “a breath-taking embodiment of grief.”

Chigama’s debut collection, “Gather The Children,” won Outstanding First Creative Published Book at the National Arts Merit Awards in 2019.  In the same year she was an honorary fellow at the International Writing Programme (IWP) at Iowa University.  In 2021 she released her second poetry collection which won the NAMA Outstanding Poetry Book Award in 2022.

Batsirai is passionate about providing alternative narratives to those featured in mainstream media and her work with young people has taken her as far as Denmark and USA, performing and facilitating creative writing and spoken word workshops in schools.

Batsirai Chigama log