NUHA Foundation (2018) 

A blog post in response to Warsan Shire's poem entitled, "Home," published by the NUHA Foundation during the 2018 Blog Competition. 

 

The sky was weeping twilight and sunrise the day Amani and I became friends; we built this friendship on sweet biscuits and time spent waiting for her mama and my papa and all the other Somali refugees in upper rooms. We were too young and unaware to know that, above us, asylum-seekers were slowly becoming bilingual: Warsan Shire's "Home" And The Beautiful Desperate: A Welcome To Refugees

Dundee Review of the Arts 

Let The Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) is the sun and all her strength; raw and revealing, it exposes the destructivity of ‘the affaire’ culture. Directed by the highly revered Claire Denis, the film received the SACD award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. A loose adaptation of Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, Let The Sunshine In is uncompromising, often uncomfortably so, in its portrayal of romance. It is ambitious, and yet, this feature film accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do; it sheds light on the disparity between intimacy and idealism: Let The Sunshine In

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a cinematic composition. Simple and charming, the film unfolds like an aria, soft and picturesque. In collaboration with scriptwriters Don Roos and Tom Bezucha, Mike Newell’s screen adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow’s epistolary novel is a truly gentle and gorgeous recreation of post-WWII Guernsey. With its 1940s costuming, classic score, cohesive cinematography and clean editing, this feature truly embodies the nostalgia of heritage cinema: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

There is only one road, and there is no choice but to take it; to ride atop that stolen wagon straight down over the guilt and dirt and prejudice of an old town, and to stumble, hands and knees to the ground along Laird Hunt’s gravel road all the way to that 1930 Indianapolis lynching. The Evening Road, a historical fiction novel, is thought-provoking, addressing racial tension and cruelty in the same sentences as self-deprecation and personal prejudice: The Evening Road Link 

A Barrel of Dried Leaves rakes together the “corroded” past and “sing[s] the anthem” of change and patriotism in a galvanizing, all-encompassing way. The collection veers away from the expected self-exploration and, without obscurantism, places the reader in a world-reaching, overarching search for human identity. From the start, Allan Cameron challenges national identity—the entirety of us: A Barrel of Dried Leaves

With vivid illustrations, poignant metaphors, and poetic nuances, Heather O’ Neill’s The Lonely Hearts Hotel entices its readers with a narrative about outcast characters seeking to entertain New York City with “The Snowflake Icicle Extravaganza” on their search for stardom. The Lonely Hearts Hotel focuses on the interconnecting themes of fate and tragedy, hope and persistence. Early in the text, it is suggested that “we are really nothing more than our foibles and that, were we to eradicate our flaws, there would be nothing left of us at all.” The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Daragh Breen’s poems are crowded with spirits and ghosts, their very ethereal nature characterizing his focus on the almost indefinable. Published in 2016, What The Wolf Heard, is unconventional in how it explores and illustrates time. Structured  as four compartments, the collection’s chronology is nonlinear and consequently, implies a fluidity between present,  past, and future. The introduction is set in 1969, continues “four decades earlier,” and announces its completion, “23 years later.” Throughout, Breen addresses the process of nothing transforming into something in order to replace the something that has now returned to nothing. What The Wolf Heard decodes is the continual, metamorphic cycle of nature, from birth to burial: What The Wolf Heard

Roy Fisher’s latest collection, Slakki: New & Neglected Poems, epitomizes the poet’s struggle to stabilize his “everyday self — a quite presentable, penurious, and apparently unambitious young man” in his poetry. The process of putting together the collection addresses the creation of a poetic identity, the representation of Fisher the writer: Slakki: New & Neglected Poems 

This crashes around the skull. It whispers and it wails. It is the sound we hear when the space around us is silent. Recently shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award, Zoë Skoulding’s The Museum of Disappearing Sounds explores the notion of sound as a codependent relationship between a reader’s external and internal ear.

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The Museum of Disappearing Sounds is an intimate collection and is offered as a  gift to you, her reader. You are the initiator, the listener, the viewer, and also the silencer of sound: “You hold [its] rise and decay.” The collection itself is curated like a display, divided into “exhibits.” An image of waves form in the second exhibit, enabling you to envision external noise internally. Skillfully, Skoulding wires sound deep within the body just as a set of cables connects to a radio: The Museum of Disappearing Sounds

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