The PTC Resistance Poets bundle looks at poets as political activists. This selection brings together four poets who are unafraid to engage with the urgent political issues of our day, sometimes explicitly addressing inequity and tragedy were they find it, yet often simply holding a space for reflection and joy amidst dark times and chaos.
Each collection contains an overview of a poet’s work including explicitly political poems, like Adelaide Ivanova's feminist confrontation of sexualised violence or Ribka Sibhatu’s response to the Lampedusa tragedy, that saw over 300 refugees drown off the coast of a Mediterranean island.
Other poems take on a political charge form the context in which they were written, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi celebrates the rich multicultural history of his native Sudan in opposition to the restrictive Islamist rule of Omar Al-Bashir and Afghan poet Reza Mohammadi examines the role of the writer in a culture where poetry can inspire both hope and violence.
Coming from Eritrea, Brazil, Sudan and Afghanistan each of these poets is reflecting on issues important to them and their culture, but echoing wider global concerns, including political repression, sexual violence and refugee rights, offering the reader opportunity to see the world from a range of different perspectives.
These poets have been rendered into English for the PTC by leading translators, including Francisco Vilhena, André Naffis-Sahely, Atef Alshaer, Rashid El Sheikh and Hamid Kabir often working with important contemporary English language poets like, Rachel Long, Nick Laird and the late Sarah Maguire.
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- Aulò! Aulò! Aulò! by Ribka Sibhatu - Translated by André Naffis-Sahely
- the hammer and other poems by Adelaide Ivánova - Translated by Francisco Vilhena with Rachel Long
- A Monkey at The Window: Selected Poems by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi - Translated by Atef Alshaer, Rashid El Sheikh, Sabry Hafez and Hafiz Kheir with Sarah Maguire and Mark Ford
- Reza Mohammadi chapbook- Translated by Hamid Kabir with Nick Laird
Ribka Sibhatu is an Eritrean poet, storyteller and activist, born 1962 Asmara, Eretrea, at the beginning of a decade-long independence fight with Italy. She was imprisoned in 1978 for her criticism of the government when she was only 17. After her release a year later she fled the country to Addis Ababa and finally Italy. She is an outspoken public figure pointing out the connection between Italian colonisation and the government’s current racist policies.
Adelaide Ivánova is a radical feminist - poetry and activism are informed by each other in her collection 'A hammer and other poems'. This is unsettling work considers both sexualised violence and consensual sex through a single narrative voice. It explores post-rape experience in a morally bankrupt justice system and offers potent expression of female sexuality
A distinguished journalist, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi was forced into exile in 2012 during the uprising against the dictatorship of Omar Al-Bashir who considered him a threat to state power. Today he is considered to be one of Africa's leading poets. He has gained a wide audience in his native Sudan for his imaginative approach to poetry and for the delicacy and emotional frankness of his lyrics.
Reza Mohammadi's poems shed light on his experience of exile and prosecution. Mohammadi is convinced of the profound and deep connection the Afghan people have with poetry. He knows that poetry is used not only to confront corrupt power but also taken up by paramilitary groups to inspire violence. He reflects in his writing on the power of poetry to resist and on the realities of writers in exile.