In September 2015 the world woke up to the fact that people seeking refuge from war and persecution were drowning by their thousands in the Mediterranean. From sub-Saharan Africa and conflicts across the Middle East bodies moved, died or survived. Alison Phipps and Tawona Sitholé were working together in Ghana at the time, which is where this conversation in poetry began. In an echoing call and response they offer words for these times of war; ways of wondering what it means to resist; to suffer with; to bear witness; to seek companionship; to be part of the agony of a family made in love, and parting, separated by land, sea and paperwork.
Alison Phipps is UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts; Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at the University of Glasgow; and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network.
Tawona Sitholé is a Zimbabwean writer and musician. He is Poet in Residence with the UNESCO Chair programme of Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow and is co-founder of Seeds of Thought, which promotes creative writing and performance.
This is a confluence of voices inspired by seemingly different, yet very similar, experiences, which forms a wholesome body that flows smoothly, massaging all your five senses.
– Chirikure Chirikure, poet, Harare, Zimbabwe
A special offering from two gifted lovers of the Word. The Word as a healer’s bittersweet medicine for troubled hearts and minds. The Word as nourishing sounds and voices that take us back to ancestral time.
– Kofi Anyidoho, poet and Professor of Literature, University of Ghana
Beautiful, heart-warming, poignant. I totally recommend this book.
– Amal Azzudin, Glasgow Girl and human rights activist
Luminous, beautiful and sore. Poetry that is lyrical and tender, wounded and elegiac, probing and incantatory. And above all else life-affirming.
– Karine Polwart, Scottish singer-songwriter