Thursday, August 23, 2007

Home is Where Hatred Is

The powerfully titled pamphlet - 'Home is Where the Hatred Is' - is a collection of poems by seven women writers, all of whom share the experience of having to leave their country of birth in order to find a safe place to live and write. Many of the poems hit a punch - as good poetry does - through their simplicity, showing more than any newspaper report what it must be like to have to leave everything familiar behind, including (maybe especially) language. I must have re-read Huriye Gunes's 'My Sister' many many times and although it's only seven lines long, it still moves me to tears every time. 'Read the biographies,' asks the editor Lynette Craig (see below) and when I did, I was struck by the energy of the poets involved; it made me realise why creativity can - and should - matter so much. 'Life-enhancing' is the apt description on the back of this book, and that's what I was left feeling after I'd read the whole of it. Very very lucky too.

Because I was so impressed, I asked the editor Lynette Craig to explain a little about the project behind the poems and this is what she wrote:
"I first met Soheila Ghodsitinat in a workshop for exiled writers, which I was running under the auspices of Exiled Writers Ink and Islington Enterprises. She is an energetic and determined writer who had the idea of getting several of her writing friends together to put out this booklet. She didn't wait for approval but set about finding the funding and organising its production herself. Of the seven women whose work is in this collection, five are London based and actively engaged in writing and performing projects. They are typical of the vibrancy in the exiled community.

"Often exiled writers have endured hardship and suffering; some are only too aware of a lack in language skills. Undeterred by all this they seek out courses and individuals who are sympathetic to their aims. So this is where I came in and agreed to edit the booklet. Loss, persecution, wandering, a need to belong, nostalgia are all themes in this collection but tempered by humour and endurance. When you have read the poems, read the brief biographies at the end of the booklet. Then try to define 'home'."

The poets featured in the pamphlet are:
Nora Armani
Valbona Voca Bashota
Sofia Buchuck-Lluvia
Soheila Ghodsitinat
Huriye Gunes
Sifundo Msebele
Nela Melic

editor Lynette Craig; design Maryam Hasemi
ISBN 978-1-905599-32-5

Copies are available from Soheila Ghodstinat at


Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I love that you did this.
I'm looking forward to reading these.

Thanks for being this good, and this strong.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Sarah said...

Oh, I can't take any credit at all for the book, Scarlett - all I had was the pleasure of reading it! As you will too, I hope.