March 7, 2023
Drinking from Graveyard Wells cover

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, MFA '23, is a Zimbabwean sarungano (storyteller), and her debut short story collection, Drinking from Graveyard Wells was released today by University Press of Kentucky.

Drawing on her early experiences as a Zimbabwean living under the Mugabe dictatorship, Ndlovu's stories are grounded in truth and empathy. Ndlovu boldly offers up alternative interpretations of a past and a present that speculates upon the everyday lives of a people disregarded. Her words explore the erasure of African women while highlighting their beauty and limitless magic. Immersed in worlds both fantastical and familiar, readers find themselves walking alongside these women, grieving their pain, and celebrating their joy, all against the textured backdrop of Zimbabwe.

Ndlovu is pursuing her Masters in the MFA for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst where she is a Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellow and recipient of the 2019 Bennett Fellowship. She also teaches in the UMass Writing Program. Ndlovu earned her BA at Cornell University and has taught at Clarion West Writers Workshop online.

Praising Drinking from Graveyard Wells, MFA Director, Jeff Parker said, “In Yvette Ndlovu's stories houses disappear, ravenous ants feast on carnivore lollipops, and gods work at the bank. They're myths of political and social reality cut with bone and blood. Ndlovu is a true original, a literary force whose style is just real enough to feel magical and just magical enough to feel real. There may be no other writer quite like her at work today.” Parker is the author of Ovenman and The Taste of Penny.

Ndlovu will be a featured reader in the Fall 2023 Visiting Writers Series, a program of the MFA for Poets and Writers.

For more information, visit Ndlovu’s website.