“When you are a latecomer, outsider, immigrant, exile, there are fractures in your life that you can’t heal… I have a lot of respect for people that have stayed behind and have to deal with the wounds every day.” Elif Shafak
Posts tagged "anthology"
Cuckoo

Cuckoo

At first, I thought that old devil of a back problem had returned to haunt me. I assumed the position – lay down, knees up, feet flat on the floor. Unlike Martha, I’m not one for the dramatic, but I did text her to come back ASAP. My no-longer-little niece, Alex, was sat beside me...
The strange art of the short story

The strange art of the short story

When I decided to publish an anthology of short stories, I didn’t guess just how absorbing it would be. I had to choose, and choice focuses the mind beautifully. The short story is an intricate, difficult and intriguing beast. It isn’t a truncated novel but belongs to a genre all of its own and not...
The women who save you

The women who save you

The success of a journey depends on your fellow travellers. The poems in Night Feeds and Morning Songs remind me that we are not alone. Women walked and will walk this way, with their babies cocooned in their buggies or bound to their chests, hundreds of years ago, and yesterday, and tomorrow. They have wiped...
Interesting times

Interesting times

Staying Human is the latest addition to Bloodaxe Books’ Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies, offering a broad, international selection of 500 more ‘real poems for unreal times’. The range of poetry complements that of the first three anthologies: hundreds of thoughtful and powerful poems about living in the modern world; poems that touch the heart, stir the...
Spreading their wings

Spreading their wings

I’d like to travel back through time and tell my schoolgirl self that, one day, I’d consider poetry to be a magic carpet. (Although, I suspect she would have looked up from wrestling with a knotty slice of D.H. Lawrence only to roll her eyes!) To me now, though, there is no more efficient escape...
Flight to Gaza

Flight to Gaza

My seatmate goes on talking as if we come from the same country. As if we share the same fears, the same constellations of film stars. As she recounts stories about the festival, my mind recalls televised scenes of the war – the live coverage of American attacks that sowed democracy across Iraq. The tonnes...
Landing a whopper

Landing a whopper

I knew a young man once, he was a most conscientious fellow, and, when he took to fly-fishing, he determined never to exaggerate his hauls by more than twenty-five per cent. ‘When I have caught forty fish,’ said he, ‘then I will tell people that I have caught fifty, and so on. But I will...
Phenomenal women

Phenomenal women

In Summer 2017, I decided I wanted to read an anthology of poetry by women that would cover writers from the ancient world to today. I had edited several anthologies myself, but the remit had always been to include the ‘greatest hits’. I had become uncomfortably aware how few female poets featured in most general...
“Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.”

“Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.”

He woke up and , before the last vestiges of the nightmare faded, made up his mind. He’d take him out to the forest and finish the matter off. Fifteen years ago, before he’d shot him, he’d heard him say, “Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.” Those words had stayed with...
The world's affliction

The world’s affliction

In collecting material for No Man’s Land, my first priority was to feature writing from as many of the countries that took part in World War One as possible. This not from some desire to be exhaustive but because I wanted to convey that the war truly was a world war – so there are...