About the author...
Chas Lotter, the soldier poet of the Rhodesian bush war, had an unusual apprenticeship in the craft of poetry. Life began for Lotter in Germiston, South Africa in 1949. His family moved to Rhodesia in 1953 and it was there that Chas grew up on farms in the Bindura and Gatooma (Kadoma) areas. Chas moved to Salisbury (Harare) in 1974 where he met his wife, Avril. The early years of their marriage were typical of Rhodesians of their generation. Family life and daily routine were overtaken by the increasing demands of army commitments as the war gathered in intensity...
As a field medic, Sergeant Chas Lotter served for nine years with frontline units of the Rhodesian Army. It was these nine years of action, emotion and savage experience that fuelled the poet's fire in Lotter. He started writing poetry "on the backs of cigarette boxes" in an attempt to deal with the realities of the war that surrounded him. From such humble beginnings emerged a series of vivid pictures of an African nation at war.
Lotter's work was first published in Peter Badcock's volume Shadows of War. Subsequently, Lotter collaborated with Badcock on another successful work, Faces of War, that blended Badcock's pencil sketches and Lotter's poetry. Then, in 1984, Chas published his highly acclaimed book: Rhodesian Soldier. This remarkable volume is now a scarce and much sought after collector's item. Rhodesian Soldier blends photographs and verse to form a wide-ranging monograph of the Rhodesian bush war. Echoes of an African War will be similarly arranged although it will be a far more comprehensive work. Given that Chas has dedicated an entire year to scour the world for the right photographs to tie to his poetry, Echoes of an African War promises to be a hugely successful and honest attempt to capture the spirit of a small but doughty nation at war.
Chas Lotter has won recognition for his work far beyond the borders of his home country. His work has earned him membership of the English Academy of Southern Africa and his poetry has been published as follows:
Zimbabwe: Two Tone, Mahogany, Touch, Faces of War, Shadows of War, Mambo Book of Zimbabwean Verse in English, The Gatooma Mail, Zimbabwe Poetry Review.
South Africa: Rhodesian Soldier, African White Tribes, None But Ourselves, Armed Forces, Carapace, Contrast, RASA, Sunday Star, The Bloody Horse, imPRINT
United States of America: Infantry, The New Carp, The Glow Within
Canada: The Rhodie
Isibongo; Rhodesians at War; Rhodesians World Wide; Rikkie's Place
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