Musaemura Zimunya was born in 1949 in Mutare in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He was educated in Rhodesia and at Kent University, UK, where he acquired an MA in literature in 1979. After independence in 1980 he joined the University of Zimbabwe as a literature teacher. He left in 1999 for the USA and is currently Director of Black Studies at Virginia Tech University.
Zimunya began publishing poems when he was still at school, in literary journals in Rhodesia. His early poetry often revealed an imaginative appreciation of the beauty of nature. While his collection Thought Tracks (Longman,1982) represents a generation that felt marginalized and deracinated by colonialism, Kingfisher, Jikinya and other poems, published in the same year (Longman,1982), is a celebration of love and nature.
Country Dawns and City Lights (Longman,1985) takes a caustic look at the idealization of rural life, while also confronting the difficulties faced by the urban dweller. Perfect Poise (College Press,1993) and Selected Poems (Longman,1995) are collections that contain both the lyricism of his earlier work and the sardonic biting perspective of the critic.
Musa Zimunya has taught literature at the University of Zimbabwe since 1980. He has published one collection of short stories, Nightshift (Longman, 1993), and a volume of literary criticism. Zimunya's work has also been published in British and Amerikan anthologies, in Kizito Muchemwa’s Zimbabwean Poetry in English (1978), and in the collection he co-edited with Mudereri Khadani, And Now the Poets Speak (1981).
Kingfisher, Jikinya, and Other Poems, 1982
Country Dawns and City Lights, 1985
Perfect Poise, 1993
Selected Poems, 1995
Those Years of Drought and Hunger: The Birth of African Fiction in English in Zimbabwe, 1982