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Soft Magic: A Review

Title: Soft Magic

Author: Upile Chisala

ISBN: 9781516967889

Page count: 122 Pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


Upile Chisala is a Malawian poet whose debut collection although slim, covers expansive issues in new and innovative ways. Her poetry explores self, her black identity, womanhood, the experience of the black immigrant, coming to terms with one’s spirituality and the angst of the young in an increasingly alienating yet globalized world.

In Soft Magic, Chisala is on a journey to reconcile these disparate selves as a way of carving out her identity and thus affirming her individuality. She can be strong and vulnerable, in love and out of it, sentimental, angry at the injustice that she witnesses around her and yet proactive in response to the forces of oppression.

A Fourth Wave feminist, Chisala’s work is also geared towards gender issues and she, using visual and sensory language, expounds on body positivity, colourism, race and racism and the  intersectional realities of modern life.