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Verve Poetry Festival - The Sea-Migrations Reading


'Somali poetry is a tradition that demands virtuoso verbal technique to impress an audience. Translated into lapel-grabbing alliterative verse by Clare Pollard'

-Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times

Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is fast emerging as a powerful woman poet in a literary tradition still largely dominated by men. She is a master of the major Somali poetic forms, including the prestigious gabay, which presents compelling arguments with mesmerising feats of alliteration. The key to her international popularity is in her spirit and message: her poems are classical in construction but they are unmistakably contemporary, and they engage passionately with the themes of war and displacement, which have touched the lives of an entire generation of Somalis.

Clare Pollard is an award-winning poet and the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation Magazine. Born in Bolton in 1978, Pollard studied at Cambridge University. Her first poetry collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, was published in 1998. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2000 and she won a Society of Authors travel award and an Arts Council writer’s award in 2003. Her third collections Look, Clare! Look! (2005) was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. Her fourth collection Changeling (2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and her latest is Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017).

This event is a celebration of the long-standing friendship and collaboration between Asha Lul and her poet-translator the UK poet Clare Pollard. The pair will read selected work from Asha Lul's first collection The Sea-Migrations, recently named the Sunday Times Poetry Book Of The Year.

Day Pass

To attend this event you will need a Verve Poetry Festival day pass for Saturday 17th of February This festival pass gets you entry into all events at the festival for the day. You can see a full line-up here.

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