Breaking the silence: a call for poems 'in solidarity with refugees'

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A group of writers in the UK are inviting contributions to an anthology of poetry “in solidarity with the refugees who are currently receiving so little welcome as they take to boats and rafts to cross the Mediterranean, make their way with difficulty through Europe and, in a small number of cases, arrive in Calais with the hope of reaching the UK”. The initiative comes as some poets move to express the anguish felt at shocking and distressing media images, including the death of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, drowned with his five-year-old brother Ghalib and mother Rehan, as his family tried to reach the Greek island of Kos.  Laura Taylor has posted a moving and poignant poem, ‘For Aylan’, on Write Out Loud. There are other poems, too on the Write Out Loud poetry blogs,including 'Open The Borders', by Jeff Dawson, and 'Political Will', by Rose Condo.  

Poets in Solidarity with Refugees, which is based in the East Midlands, are using Crowdfunder to help raise money for their project. Proceeds from sales will go to registered charities supporting refugees both in the East Midlands and abroad.

They say: “The aim of the anthology is to enable readers to take a view of the situation which is not governed by the fear and hatred whipped up by the language of media and many politicians. The anthology will be produced by an editorial committee, typesetter and publisher who will work free of charge. The anthology will be published by Five Leaves Publications in Nottingham, and will be available both in print and as an ebook.” You can find more details here 

 

Laura Taylor’s poem includes these lines:  

 

             babies shouldn’t die in plastic dinghies in the night

     while their parents flee the trouble that we caused

     and the people selling arms to the Middle Eastern maniacs

     should not be leading countries

     telling lies

     making wars

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 21st Sep 2015 16:09

An interesting thread. The theatrical/acting profession
has more than its share - perhaps it's the "once upon a
time" basis of their working lives that overtakes the
reality and forms their own opinions of what "we" should
be doing about any given set of circumstances. I
continue to pose the questions: why are these emigrants
heading away from a part of the world with which they
share religion, culture, customs and history towards the
west and why is there a "deafening silence" on the
subject from the often wealthy countries in that vast abandoned region not involved in conflict?

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John F Keane

Sun 20th Sep 2015 19:23

*I'm not prepared to accept that the majority of, say, Conservative voters would not do a good turn for someone else, or help out someone they could see was in trouble.*

For them, it depends on who the person is.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 20th Sep 2015 18:28

That's two different arguments, I would say. Maybe it is true that most creative people in all spheres are more left-wing than right. But "left-leaning people more inclined to altruism"? No "big society", then? Very depressing, if true. Call me a naive leftwing idealist, but I'm not prepared to accept that the majority of, say, Conservative voters would not do a good turn for someone else, or help out someone they could see was in trouble.

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John F Keane

Sun 20th Sep 2015 16:22

Well Greg, I would have to say that left-leaning people are more inclined to altruism, almost by definition. And most creative people in all spheres are more left-wing than right.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 20th Sep 2015 15:55

This is an odd thread to put such a comment on, John, if I may so. Are you suggesting that only left-leaning people want to help refugees? Or did you mean to attach it to another story?

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John F Keane

Sun 20th Sep 2015 15:12

Why are so many creative people left-leaning? Someone needs to do research on it.

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