This anthology features brand new work from Fred D’Aguiar, Sonnet L’Abbe, Efe Paul Azino, Isabelle Baafi, Hinemoana Baker, Dzifa Benson, Kayo Chingonyi, Tishani Doshi, Nafeesa Hamid, Nick Makoha, Roy McFarlane, Alvin Pang, Sivinee Ramlochan, Melizerrani T. Selva, Elfie Shiosaki, Saradha Soobrayan, Ellen Van Neerven & Njeri Wangari.
The poems are the result of Across Borders – a commonwealth poetry postcard exchange project created and organised by VERVE Poetry Festival with Birmingham 2022 Festival and BBC Contains Strong Language Festival 2022, which ran over the summer of 2022.
What resulted was an astonishing variety of approaches to the idea of partnership. Connections made varied from the intense to the stuttering, as time-zones, work-life balance and the long tale of the pandemic impacted the project, and as our poets grappled with the enormity of the subject matter and the breadth of its possibilities. Poets connected via zoom, email, audio message, text and more – they shared detailed accounts and five word prompts, noise and silence. But together and apart (as poets so often ulimately are) incredible work has been produced.
The work is as varied as the approaches to the project. Sometimes minimal, at other times a gushing tidal wave, loosely formed or tight and taut poetry objects. But, and we don’t use this work lightly, it is without exception brilliant! It is thought provoking, educative, surprising and most of all communicative. It is telling us and teaching us something. It is a window into the soul of individulals scattered throughout the world and connected by a construct (the commonwealth) as tenuous and imposed as the idea of a country, or a border, or time itself. And ultimately by the act of creating poetry.
We hope that some of the connections formed on the project will last. We understand why they may not, but still we hope. Read these poems, savour them as we have, and you too may begin to hear. To form and feel connections of your own.
- 15 Fep 2022
- PBK: £10.00
- ISBN: 978 1 913917 23 4
- 112 pages 216 x 138 • 48 poems
- Market: General/trade
- Genre: Poetry Anthology