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Wasafiri Editor

Articles by Wasafiri Editor

The Wait by Pauline Walker
From the harbour she looked like a tiny black beetle scurrying up the hill towards the oblivion of the horizon. The sinews in her thighs burned and her fingers were numb from the bags she carried filled with potatoes, yams, breadfruits and acres of cotton muslin.
Writing Britain Now: Ashley Hickson-Lovence
Ashley Hickson-Lovence's debut novel, The 392, is set almost entirely on a London bus over just 36 minutes, and was released in April 2019 (OWN IT!).
Of Braids and Blades: Fighting the Ghosts of Kashmir
The essay by Amrita Sharma and Peerzada Raouf, and extracted from issue 99 of Wasafiri, is second in a series of ethnographic writings documenting events and practices that make the Kashmiri people’s resistance today.
Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019: Shortlist
The shortlist of the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019 has been announced, with five shortlisted writers each in the categories of Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry. The winners will be announced on 9 November 2019 at the British Library as part of our 35th birthday celebrations:
Photographs, Photography and the Photographer: George Szirtes
Since the late 1980s, the poet George Szirtes has published many collections of poems including the monumental New and Collected Poems (2008). His latest publication is The Photographer at Sixteen (2019), a memoir of his mother’s life recounted in reverse and based on many photographs.
Literature Must Fall: Festival Highlights
Last month, Birmingham played host to its first decolonial literature festival: ‘Literature Must Fall’. A day-long event held in the city centre, the festival brought together writers, editors and academics to explore what it could mean to decolonise and demystify literature today.
An Island Full of Voices Is Almost Here
On the 9 November, Wasafiri will bring together readers, writers and past contributors from all over the world for a day of workshops, talks and debates on the challenges and potentials of writing within, and through, our current fraught times. Featuring:
Writing Britain Now: Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan’s debut poetry collection, Postcolonial Banter, was published by Verve Poetry Press in 2019. It features some of her most well-known and widely performed poems as well as some never-seen-before material.
Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019: Winners Announced
The winners of the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2019, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, were announced at our 35th birthday festival, 'An Island Full of Voices: Writing Britain Now', at the British Library on 9 November.
Third Person Female by Alicia Mietus
The fraught intricacies of a mother-daughter relationship form the core of 'Third Person Female', woven from the fabric of day-to-day life, shared cooking, childhood memories—and the differences of age and culture that flare up in the face of a new and unexpected relationship.
Natural Causes by Ruby D. Jones
‘Natural Causes’ deftly narrates two parallel stories: of the narrator’s discovery of a dead blue tit in her garden, and her reflections on the death of a close friend, whose death—of natural causes or by suicide?—is an unresolved presence in her life.
'I am always writing a novel': In Conversation with Romesh Gunesekera
I first encountered Romesh Gunesekera’s work back in 1999 when he gave a reading from his short story collection Monkfish Moon.
Picong by Desirée Seebaran
‘Picong’ is a Trinidadian word for taunting, and this poem addresses the experiences of colourism and cruelty that are so insidious and ubiquitous, not only culturally but within families.
Wasafiri Wonders: Anthony Joseph
‘...I have become more Trinidadian away from Trinidad. It’s a liminal position, being a Caribbean writer in the UK. For me, it is a position of longing but also of transformation through longing.’ … Ever wondered what your favourite writer’s first drafts look like?
Writing Britain Now: The Books of Sheffield and Newcastle
Comma Press’s ‘Reading the City’ series has been traversing the globe since 2006, sourcing a selection of ten authors from specific cities to collate ten short stories that depict the social, historical or political essence of their contemporary city.
Season's Readings: 35 Years of Wasafiri, 35 Literary Works
To mark the milestone of Wasafiri’s 100th issue, we invited Alastair Niven to cast an eye over the literary output of the past three and a half decades and pick thirty-five outstanding books from the last thirty-five years.  … No one could refuse an invitation to pick their favourite books…
The Holy Family at the Border by Margaret Pritchard Houston
They have walked all night … through the desert, this couple: José y Maria … and the baby. duermete mi niño … duermete por favor. Por favor. Their English isn’t great – they’ve got a bit. Yes sir. No sir. Thank you sir. They’ve got that down pat.
The End of History by Tom Sastry
They said history was over. I wanted them … to be wrong. I wanted things to turn. I wanted a world I could find … beautiful on its own, without any … particular good news. I’d never had … a truth that could hold me.
Writing Britain Now: Jessica Mookherjee
Jessica Mookherjee, highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes, published her second collection of poems, Tigress, with Nine Arches Press late last year.
Hard Borders by James Young
James Young is a Northern Irish writer, translator and journalist. His short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals, and as a journalist he has written for several leading newspapers and websites.
A Losing School Team by David McVey
Our school Debating Society had a lot going for it. For a start, it was a handy refuge during wet weather; once a week we had access to the Lecture Theatre in the warm, dry heart of the school which was otherwise out of bounds during the lunch break.
The Thing About Being In Love Is That by Omar Sakr
I pray to god every morning to bury me first … & I simmer to boiling point with melodrama. I keep it one hundred with sensation, music, oddities. Yesterday I called even a poem habibi. I licked the hardwood floors that held a memory … of your feet.
'A Towering Figure': Tribute to Kamau Brathwaite (1930-2020)
Kamau Brathwaite, who passed away on February 4th 2020, is one of the Caribbean’s most influential and original poetic voices.
Writing Britain Now: Isabel Waidner
Isabel Waidner is a writer and critical theorist. Their novel We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff (2019) was shortlisted for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize and is currently shortlisted for this year's Republic of Consciousness Prize.
Gathering by Susan Hunter Downer
I woke up at 4:12am on 27 December and it was gone. It stayed for Christmas and Boxing Day and then just disappeared. It’s not that I don’t know where to find my table, it’s that I don’t know how to find it, and I’ve got to find it because … I can’t quite touch the future without it.
Pantoum of Soldiers by Joanna Johnson
My father hid in the basement … painting uniforms on metal soldiers, his finger tips … rough as bark. I climbed to the top of the cherry tree … to spy on the neighbors while I chewed on pits. Painting uniforms on metal soldiers, his finger tips … cracked from the paint thinner.
'Too much talking. We’ve got work to do'
Ellah P Wakatama OBE is Editor at Large, Canongate Books Ltd.; Senior Research Fellow at Manchester University (Centre for New Writing) and Chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing.
Wasafiri Wonders: Khairani Barokka
'I always wish there were more translations of poetry from Indonesian languages, especially in languages other than Indonesian, including from works that aren’t in book form to begin with.
After the Apocalypse
If you've ever read Emily St John Mandel's novel Station Eleven, you may have spent a lot of time recently thinking about Emily St John Mandel's novel Station Eleven. Namely, could it be, is it possible—will it get that bad? If the book is new to you, a brief plot summary from the back cover:
'I often think in threes': Namwali Serpell on the 'Great Zambian Novel'
High praise – ‘Dickensian’, ‘A worthy heir to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude’ – and a prize considered a literary rite of passage – the Caine Prize for African Writing, or ‘Africa’s Booker’ – preceded the arrival of Zambian writer Namwali Serpell’s doorstopper debut…
The Perfect Handspring by Muthoni wa Gichuru
I was in standard six, twelve years old, as thin as an acacia sapling and just as rough. I joined the queue of bloomer-clad girls and waited my turn. The test for making it to our school’s Physical Education team would be a perfect handspring:
family tree by Miriama Gemmell
1.1.1 cousin wants the whakapapa … 1.1.2 cousin played reps back in the day … 1.1.3 cousin bringing the leftovers … 1.2.1 cousin baby four on the way … 1.2.2 cousin going up to the tangi … 1.2.3 cousin three jobs pretty busy … 1.2.4 cousin another month of curfew … 1.2.
Writing Britain Now: Shahnaz Ahsan
My grandfather, or Nana Bhai as we used to call him, always took great pains to make it clear that he was asked to come to Britain in the late 1950s. Post-war Britain needed the workforce – in factories and mills across the country – and it called upon the former colonies for help.
In Memoriam: Benita Parry
In a series of brilliant essays written in the 1980s and 1990s, subsequently re-published as Postcolonial Studies. A Materialist Critique (2004), Benita Parry invigorated literary-theoretical debates about the cultures of (neo-)colonialism with her sophisticated Marxist analysis.
Looking for British-Iranian Literature
In July 2018, I completed my Master’s degree frustrated that I never located enough material to sustain further study on British-Iranian literature. I found myself reaching over the Atlantic—to North America, where American-Iranian voices were vibrantly circulating in comparison to the UK.
Nigerian Literature: Four Deaths and an Elegy
The last twelve months have been a terrible time for Nigerian literature. First, in March 2019, came the death of Pius Adesanmi in the Ethiopian Airways crash.
Less Than Perfect by Prateek Nigam
Anasuya lies between the crumpled bedding. Even the slightest touch of the chenille blanket irks her. The cooler spews warm air into the bedroom of their top floor apartment in Bangalore. The walls seem to glow with heat like a tandoor. She kicks the blanket into a ball, pushing it into a corner.
Diary From The Third Millennium by Thomas Waller
London is now three roundabouts. Each connected, each the same. All roads only lead to or from these roundabouts. No escape. But they’re big. Really big. London is now England and maybe even Europe. No one has settled anywhere, we all just keep driving, searching for somewhere else.
How to Marry an African President by Erica Sugo Anyadike
When you are interviewed for BBC documentaries in your palace, they will want to know how you met. Cast your eyes downward and tell them how you were a shy and hardworking secretary in the State House typing pool. Omit to mention that you were married. Lie that you were divorced and not looking.
Quite A Catch by Matsuda Aoko
Hina-chan has such beautiful skin, I think as I wash her. Using a linen washcloth I’ve specially ordered to avoid irritating her delicate skin cells, I start from her toes, working slowly up the length of her body stretched out supine in the water.
Smokers by Janet Olearski
The Onorevole Gaetano Costa, the highest of high-court judges, domiciled in the city of Palermo, was a heavy smoker. His wife Rita did what she could to discourage the habit.
'As a ‘nice’ Asian woman you don’t write about the body': Bernice Chauly
Bernice Chauly is a Malaysian novelist, poet, educator and former director of the George Town Literary Festival. She has published seven books of poetry and prose:
Wasafiri Wonders: Morgan Giles
'I don't believe any word is untranslatable, just that we haven't been imaginative enough.'  … Ever wondered which book your favourite translator would secretly love to translate?
Marching with Mandela's Grandchildren
‘BLM organisers call off London event [13th June] to avoid clashes with far right’, the Guardian headline reads on the very evening I’m writing this…
'Soft Liquid Rigour': Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments
It is hard to review a book of such gravitas and importance; a text that refuses the boundaries we were meant to exist within. How to honour the soft liquid rigour, the sharp vast tenderness, of a writer like Saidiya Hartman?
'I had no room to get a running start, so I had to fly': Mieko Kawakami
Mieko Kawakami, born in Osaka in 1976, made her literary debut in 2006. She has published nearly thirty volumes of novels, short stories, poems, and essays.
'It's not behind us. It's not in the past.'
On 7 June 2020, the city of Bristol burst into the international spotlight in a single moment of visual poetry, as protestors armed with ropes and determination did in a matter of minutes what the city had long failed to manage:
On Guest-Editing Japan: Literatures of Remembering
We spoke to Elizabeth Chappell, Hiromitsu Koiso and Yasuhiko Ogawa – our three guest editors – about curating, compiling and commissioning Wasafiri 102, our special issue on Japan. Wasafiri : Please tell us how you came to co-edit together.
Donation by Jennie Owen
Here, take my brain, each last lobe … one hundred billion empty neurons … firing, its shocks so blunt, my thoughts disrobed; … bruises and wounds unhidden.
Wasafiri Wonders: Rachel Long
'I think it be would be Whitney Houston does a grime inflected album, with special features from Rhianna, Stormzy, Skepta, David Bowie. Album artwork from either Tracey Emin or Carrie Mae Weems – maybe an artwork each side.
Wasafiri Wonders: Maaz Bin Bilal
‘One would like to think of the author-translator as comrades in arms.’ … Ever wondered what your favourite writer’s first drafts look like? Or which book your favourite translator would secretly love to translate? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Writing Whiteness: Room by Claire Hynes
Room (n.) A space that can be occupied or where something can be done. The first conversation took place in the university Council Chamber seven years ago. A Professor of Literature, the author of many books, was being honoured, although I wasn’t sure exactly why.
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
If you want to know how poor somebody was growing up, ask them how many windows they had. Don’t ask what was in their fridge or in their closet. The number of windows says it all. It says everything. If they had none, or maybe one or two, that’s all you need to know.
Writing Whiteness: Performance Art for The End of the World by Chris Tse
a crowd gathers around an empty frame … suspended from the ceiling / some see the … face of their saviour / others find … themselves lost in a tunnel / those at the … front with their chequebooks at the ready … have the audacity to call it Art / they’re all … correct / but they’re also wrong to…
Exclusive Extract: Between Beirut and the Moon by Naji Bakhti
That night I snuck out of the house and walked for half an hour to Ramlet AlBayda. It was the only public sandy shore left in Beirut, courtesy of the warlords who ran the country after the end of the civil war.
Writing Whiteness: Inua Ellams on 'Men In Black'
One of the many myths perpetuated by British colonial governments and its systems of propaganda is that Empire existed not for the economic benefit of Britain but to civilise, Educate (and Christianise) primitive peoples of the earth.
Cathy Park Hong and Minor Feelings
Cathy Park Hong is a Korean-American poet and essayist who is the author of three volumes of experimental poetry. Her most recent work is the non-fiction book, Minor Feelings:
'I ain’t go lie. This novel is a love letter to Trinidad': Ingrid Persaud
She won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017, then the BBC National Short Story Award in 2018. Now, Ingrid Persaud brings her most expansive, ambitious work yet. Love After Love has already generated international headlines.
Beyond benign notions of ‘diversity’: Sandeep Parmar and Anamik Saha in Conversation
Earlier this summer, two reports shook up the publishing landscape in the UK.
Exclusive Excerpt: The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić
Branko A single year brings two big changes: I become a man and my brother becomes an American. My new status is announced by Mrs Mitchell from over the road when she hears that my voice is breaking.
Exclusive Extract and Performance: Life as a Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi
My mother’s behaviour at Arab weddings would make the perfect audition video for RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the next one we attended together only confirmed her as the clear genetic foundation for my drag career. It was a cousin’s wedding, and this time it was happening in Mykonos in Greece.
Writing Britain Now: Nina Mingya Powles
I am shaped by borders. I was born with the privilege to cross these borders freely; I was born with light skin and a New Zealand passport. I am shaped by colonial islands. Aotearoa New Zealand on my dad’s side, and Sabah, Malaysia, on my mum’s side – formerly known as British North Borneo.
2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize: Shortlist
Kadija Sesay (Chair), Simon Prosser (Fiction) (Photo credit: Sharron Wallace for Museum of Colour), Aida Edemariam (Life Writing), and Raymond Antrobus (Poetry) (Photo credit:
Writing Whiteness: A Conversation with Claudia Rankine
Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine moved to the United States as a child. A poet, playwright, essayist, her work spans several decades, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004), Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) and the play The White Card (2019).
2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize Winners Announced
‘It was so interesting, considering everything that’s happening in the world, to be in that privileged position of seeing where people’s minds are at, what people are writing,’ said poet Raymond Antrobus of judging the 2020 Queen Mary  Wasafiri  New Writing Prize.
Southern Crossings: J.M. Coetzee at 80
9 February 1940, John Maxwell Coetzee, Mowbray Nursing Home, Cape Town … He enters the world on his mother Vera’s own birthday. It is just weeks before the first of many moves. With their infant son, Vera and Jack return to the still small town of Victoria West in the Great Karoo.
Within and After: Announcing the QM Wasafiri Global Dispatches Series
For over three decades Wasafiri has created a dynamic platform for mapping new landscapes in contemporary international writing featuring a diverse range of voices from across the UK and beyond.
Unfamiliar Creatures by Avni Doshi
The doctor’s voice is muffled by his mask. He says I need to be careful, more careful than the average person. So much about Covid-19 is unknown, particularly the effects on a fetus. I ask him if I should be isolating from my husband and my toddler for the duration of this pregnancy.
Jennifer Wong Appointed as Wasafiri's Writer-in-Residence
We're delighted to announce the appointment of our new Writer-in-Residence, the poet, writer, and translator Jennifer Wong.
Covid Kids by Kiera Vaclavik
Kiera Vaclavik – Professor of Children’s Literature and Childhood Culture at Queen Mary, University of London – reflects on child-centred research during and post-pandemic and responds to Avni Doshi's 'Unfamiliar Creatures'—published as part of the Queen Mary Wasafiri Global Dispatche s initiative…
What Happens Next?
What a year. As November shifts into December, and the eyes of the world turn backward – reviewing the last eleven months, and turn forward – looking ahead to what many of us hope will be something better, it's almost impossible not to fall into what are becoming 2020's analytical clichés:
Wasafiri Wonders: Juana Adcock and Sophie Hughes
Ever wondered which book your favourite translator would secretly love to translate? Or a book in translation that may have slipped under your radar?  Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
On Guest-Editing Wasafiri 104: Human Rights Cultures
We spoke to Billy Kahora and Zoe Norridge – our guest editors – about curating, compiling and commissioning  Wasafiri 104 , our special issue on Human Rights Cultures. You can read their print editorial, 'What Is Seen and What Is Said' , and other free access materials, here . Wasafiri :
From This Place on the Border by Margarita García Robayo
My sister’s sister-in-law’s name was Rocío and she was pregnant. She went to church to light a candle to Saint Ana for having granted her the miracle. Her man – short, brown-skinned, stout – went with her, satisfied at having fulfilled his mandate by insufflating his part of the mix.
Three Poems by Nick Makoha
Codex 10  … Rumi said Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely … is made for the eye of one who sees.  In 1973, the same year … my mother met my father, Steven Speilberg had just wrapped  … on American Graffiti.
Become a Wasafiri Editor at Large
Applications for the 2021 Editor at Large programme are now closed. You can get to know more about our Editors at Large here.
'Poetry as a tool of their own choosing': In Conversation with the Young People’s Laureates
L-R: Theresa Lola, Momtaza Mehri, Cecilia Knapp, Caleb Femi … Now in its fifth year, the Young People’s Laureate (YPL) for London is UK poetry’s third most prominent ‘office’, after the Poet Laureate and the Oxford Professor of Poetry.
The Temporality of Belonging by Penny Green
Penny Green – Professor of Law and Globalisation, Head of the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London – reflects on borders…
'We need to normalise rage': In Conversation with Asim Abbasi
Armed with a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a MA in Global Cinemas from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), Asim Abbasi is a British-Pakistani film director, screenwriter, and producer.
Warmer Waters by Robbie Arnott
At least it’s good for the planet, we say to each other. At least there’s a silver lining. With fewer planes in the air, fewer cars on the roads, fewer cruise ships smouldering over the ocean, there has to be a positive effect on the environment. It makes so much intuitive sense:
Call of Duty by James Bradley
Dr. James Bradley – an Environmental Scientist at Queen Mary, University of London – reflects on the climate crisis and responds to Robbie Arnott's 'Warmer Waters'—published as part of the Queen Mary Wasafiri Global Dispatche s initiative…
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga
There is no better lycée than Our Lady of the Nile. Nor is there any higher. Twenty-five hundred metres, the white teachers proudly proclaim. ‘Two thousand four hundred ninety-three metres,’ points out Sister Lydwine, our geography teacher.
Winter Writing Workshops
Wasafiri  is excited to announce a series of online writing workshops tutored by our Writer-in-Residence Jennifer Wong, and  our  Associate Editor Thomas  Glave .  … Jennifer Wong's series of writing workshops will focus on poetry, human geography and writing across and between languages…
Holding On by Adam Zmith
2020   … We’ve lived in separate boxes in Hackney all this time.   … I pull off the mask that conceals my nose and my mouth. I’m among the trees now, looking for you. Are you on the towpath? I check my phone. No messages.
Egress by Nauman Khalid
Urfi , I never came to stay. It’s just that it’s no longer as  simple as it was .   Then ,  the plan was straightforward: I was a visitor, just pass ing  through , embracing this land  of dreams  for a year.
bone journey by Rupam  Baoni
t here’s  an art to arranging    … bones, laying them together     … by way of size, shape, density,   … to form a human  body;   … y ou need to be careful where the    … sternum crosses the chest or   … the rib cage cloisters sit…
It Has Taken Many Years to See My Body by Tishani Doshi
i. Muladhara … If we could reconstruct the temple of our bodies, we all know what we’d change first. A little demolition work in the zone of belly, some gutting around hips and bum, a coat of paint after weather-stripping the face.
The 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize: Open for Submissions
Representing more of the globe than any other prize of its kind, the Queen Mary  Wasafiri  New Writing Prize is opening its doors for 2021 and welcoming work in fiction, poetry, and life writing from unpublished writers around the world.  The prize will remain open from 1 February to 31 May 2021 .
The Fight in Us by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
Our winter 2020 issue – Wasafiri 104: Human Rights Cultures – makes space for South-South connections and conversations, focusing on four post-conflict countries – Kenya, Rwanda, Colombia, Argentina – bringing together the literatures that follow in the wake of war.
The Good Brown Girl by Shivanee Ramlochan
Do you want to submit to the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry, but you're not sure what 'life writing' looks like? Let Shivanee Ramlochan show you. I began writing poems not because I was inspired, but because I was compelled.
Houhai by Jennifer Wong
If you ask me about water, this is the water I think about. The glow of myriad colours on the lake at night. Rickshaw drivers practising their English consonants and vowels with tourists as they pedal past the hutongs, earning five yuan each time—not even a pound.
‘Creating – or awakening to – Octavia’: Rachel Long 
I set  up  Octavia in 2015. But I did not do it alone.
Choreographing Covid-19 Stories by Thomas Glave
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on us all, and we all have stories to share of our experiences within it. These are stories that only we can tell, in our own words.
Welcoming our new Editors at Large
Wasafiri is excited to announce that we have expanded our global team of editors by recruiting five Editors at Large based in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Aotearoa New Zealand.
'When you think I’m hurrying you but you’re taking an eternity over every damn thing' by Minifreda Grovetzski
‘ I need you, Simi, please call . ’   …   … I message back.  ‘ Working   til  two. Then I’ m all yours . ’   …   … But a t two,  I’m  h ungry .    …   … ‘ I need you. ’     …   … I  ignore  it .    …   … ‘ G ot to be at the doctors before  three.
Writing Britain Now: Sean Wai Keung
The history of migration in the UK is also a history of food. And the history of British food is also a history of its cities.
Wasafiri Wonders: Sharanya Deepak
I veer towards writing about memory as a way to navigate something very present or painful in my adult life. Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Transformative Testimonies: Online Events on Writing and Human Rights
We're excited to announce a new series of free digital events, Transformative Testimonies: Writing and Human Rights, taking place 17 - 23 May, 2021. All events are free to attend. In December 2020, Wasafiri launched issue 104: Human Rights Cultures.
#blacksays by Joshua Idehen
Black is tired.   … Black would like   … to make a statement:    … Black  i s tired   …   … Black’s eyes    … vacant, arms    … leaden, tongue    … can’t taste shit    … stomach cannot compress death.    …   … Black would like    … to state :
Wasafiri Wonders: An Yu
Writing is one of the most unpredictable crafts. Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Friends from Home by Aparna Surendra
Dimuth’s father had lost his job. He was an accountant, CIMA-qualified, still a few years from retirement; the family had outstanding medical bills and loan repayments on the land in Ragama. Dimuth didn’t know what to do.    … Dimuth told Meena this in the middle of the quad .
Dear Sabrina – by Rebecca Baird
After Sabrina Benaim … My house is falling down. It is falling down, but  … slowly.
Red by Lola Olufemi
They were calling it disaster communism. At the meetings they encouraged people to orientate themselves toward ‘the common good’, recognising disaster as an ongoing state of emergency, as the very fabric of the old way. Aude struggled to make sense of the coming days, let alone months and years.
The Benevolence of a Raincoat by Veronique Bequin
‘A raincoat?’ Ettie Pebble’s puffy fingers fumbled with the buttons of the coat. She was talking to herself as she looked at the large white plastic discs looped through their button holes. She was perplexed. Simple actions had become hard. How did that happen? The raincoat was bright yellow.
Reading in Antarctica
Isabel Hofmeyr and Charne Lavery, colleagues from the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project based in Johannesburg, attended a conference of the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) of the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in Ushuaia…
Meditations: Tice Cin on Caleb Azumah Nelson's Open Water
Wasafiri’s ‘Meditations’ is a new series that features creative and personal responses to new literature, asking writers to seek connections with themselves, their own work, and the text they’re reading.
Hinemoana by Stacey Teague
in the far-spread ocean solitudes   …     … Hinemoana hides herself so perfectly   … in the fold of the tide   …     … she thinks she would prefer to stay untethered   … so moves from place to place   …     … Hinemoana is a blue hallway   … with no adornments   …     … she is a backlit expanse   …
Wasafiri Wonders: Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
The Bend in the Arc by C.A. Davids
In the next essay in our Queen Mary Wasafiri Global Dispatches series, novelist C.A. Davids – writing from Cape Town – tracks the slow, surreal rhythm of days spent indoors watching the world outside unravel.
Claiming Space as a Writer in a Multilingual World
Writer and poet Jennifer Wong took up the position of Wasafiri's Writer-in-Residence in November 2020. Six months on, as her residency comes to an end, she looks back on her popular programme of writing workshops that took place earlier this year…
To be Birthed in Water by Hana Pera Aoake
Hana Pera Aoake (Ngaati Hinerangi me Ngaati Raukawa, Ngaati Mahuta, Tainui/Waikato, Ngaati Waewae, Kaati Mamoe, Waitaha) is a writer and artist from Aotearoa New Zealand. Their work is concerned with realising Indigenous sovereignty through the body, and through the whenua – the land.
A Carry-On Full of Pictures and Letters
Heba Hayek is a London-based writer born and raised in Gaza, Palestine.
Wasafiri at Large: Reinventing the Book in Malaysia
Earlier this year, Wasafiri was joined by five new Editors at Large based in Southeast Asia and Aotearoa New Zealand. In the coming months, as part of our new Wasafiri at Large series, each Editor at Large will shed light on their local literary scene. William Tham Wai Liang, based in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, was formerly Senior Editor at Vancouver’s Ricepaper magazine.
BLUE by alice hiller
* … Click here to download a screenreader friendly version of this poem. alice hiller’s Forward Prize shortlisted debut, bird of winter , responds to being groomed and sexually abused in childhood, and finding healing beyond this crime.
Slow Motion by Ellie Slee
It was my fourth birthday and we were moving into the house that would become our home of twenty years. The heat was arid, and the road — the same road where I’d learn to ride a bike, run races with my sister, walk back from exams down, break up with my boyfriend at the kerb of — was glittering.
The Restaurant by Byron Beynon
Lingering on this tropical esplanade    … I watch at low tide    … the restaurant of mud    … that softly feeds the waterbirds.    … The second day of a Queensland winter    … in a humid, rich June    … as the carriage of the pelican    … rests…
Crown Shyness by King Llanza
* … Click here to download a screenreader accessible version of this poem. King Llanza (he/they) is from the Philippines. His poems have appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Sledgehammer Lit, bind collective, amberflora, Voice & Verse, SAND and Cordite Poetry Review, among others.
Exclusive Extract: In Conversation with Arundhati Roy
In this interview with Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Roy looks back on her decades-long career, and reflects on art and protest, the role of the novel, and notions of 'normality' in a post-pandemic world.  
An Extract from 'What Have I Done?' and Other Illusions of Control
Jessica Gaitán Johannesson is a Swedish/Colombian writer and climate justice activist based in Edinburgh. Recently appointed Wasafiri's new Writer-in-Residence for 2021-22, she facilitates workshops exploring the colonial roots of the climate crisis.
Wasafiri Wonders: Cecilia Knapp
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Tending by Eileen Chong
  … A weed:
An Extract from 정 by S J Kim
S J Kim was born in Korea and raised in the American South, and is a Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.
On Evil (Crime in the Academy)
In this powerful, experimental personal essay, Elizabeth Chakrabarty writes about her decision to leave academia in order write fiction, and how the traditional narrative arc of a crime novel created space for her recovery.
Abdulrazak Gurnah Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature
We are so proud to join in the congratulations for Abdulrazak Gurnah, Wasafiri Advisory Board member, longstanding contributor, editor and friend, who has won the 2021 Nobel Prize for literature.
Winners Announced for the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
We are excited to announce and warmly congratulate the winners of our 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry. ‘I was very mindful of doing this work for Wasafiri,' said novelist and judge Hirsh Sawhney, of judging the prize.
'At sentence level, I am ruthless': In Conversation with Louise Kennedy
Ahead of her event on 15 October at Cheltenham Festival, 'The Sunday Times Must Reads: Louise Kennedy', Wasafiri talked to author Louise Kennedy, whose collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac (Bloomsbury) was released earlier this year to rave reviews.
Five for the Forward Prize: In Conversation with the Nominees for Best First Collection
L-R: Caleb Femi, alice hiller, Holly Pester, Ralf Webb and Cynthia Miller … Part of the prestigious Forward Prizes for Poetry, the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection rewards ingenuity, skill, and boldness.
Fisher of Men by Caleb Femi
In honour of Caleb Femi's  Poor winning the 2021 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, Wasafiri is proud to share his poem 'Fisher of Men', which was shortlisted for the 2017 Wasafiri New Writing Prize.
'Writers grow out of communities': Malachi McIntosh on Wasafiri's Craft
Over the last year, Wasafiri's Publishing Director, Malachi McIntosh (with support by members of the Wasafiri team) has been hard at work designing and recording Craft – a literary podcast featuring a range of international writers, including Daniel Mella, Chen Chen, Bernardine Evaristo…
Wasafiri Wonders: Dzifa Benson and Romalyn Ante
The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships for 2021-2022 were announced on 2 November, with poets Dzifa Benson, Romalyn Ante, and Jamie Hale each receiving £15,000, and a year of mentoring support dedicated to developing their craft.
strangers, dreaming by Katherine Agyemaa Agard
In the latest instalment of the Queen Mary and Wasafiri essay series, Global Dispatches, novelist Katherine Agyemaa Agard writes on dreams, solitude, and touch – both physical and imagined.
Podcast
Over the last year, Wasafiri’s Publishing Director, Malachi McIntosh (with support by members of the Wasafiri team) has been hard at work designing and recording Craft – a literary podcast featuring a range of international writers, including Daniel Mella, Chen Chen, Bernardine Evaristo…
Craft Episode 1 Transcript: Nina Mingya Powles
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, Nina Mingya Powles talks about her food diary and travel memoir, Tiny Moons. Nina is a poet, writer, and maker from New Zealand currently based in London.
Solitude and Covid-19 by Barbara Taylor
In the latest of Wasafiri’s Global Dispatches series, author and academic Barbara Taylor responds to Katherine Agyemaa Agard’s work ‘strangers, dreaming’.
Litany of the Shoreline by Naush Sabah
over        head     billowing …      headscarf       white as surf …                        like    a hug  … billowing like a curtain  …                   or a flag    hanging    like  …             a noose        a mask    like  …        a blanket     a sheet …                   billowing …      …
Two Poems by Alison Glenny
[caption id="attachment_22623" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Gulls Flee Sheerwater[/caption] FOREST   … He claimed to have invented the night. This was not Romanticism, which was mainly a question … of translation. Yet she was often mute during their carriage rides.
'The everyday haunting of inherited trauma': Sabba Khan on her graphic memoir The Roles We Play
Shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition in 2018, Sabba Khan’s The Roles We Play joins the canon of graphic memoirs by female artists of colour, including Mira Jacob’s Good Talk , Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis , and Manjit Thapp’s Feelings: A Story in Seasons .
An Extract from 'The Book Smuggler' by Bina Shah
Download the full text of 'The Book Smuggler' for free until the end of January, or read it in Wasafiri 10 8: House of Wisdom … When I was a young boy, my grandfather taught me the difference between stars and planets.
Craft Episode 2 Transcript: Chen Chen
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes.
Craft Episode 3 Transcript: Daniel Mella
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer, talking about one of their works, for about thirty minutes. This month, Uruguayan novelist Daniel Mella talks about his novel El Hermano Mayor .
Announcing the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
One of the most international prizes of its kind, the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now open until 30 June 2022. Writers from around the world who have yet to publish a book are invited to submit in the genres of fiction, life writing, and poetry.
Thoughts on a Pandemic Book Club: An Illustrated Essay
In this warm and engaging personal essay, writer Divya Ghelani reflects on the strength and confidence she found by starting a reading group for contemporary novels by BIPOC authors.
‘Representing Anything Limits You, Makes You Smaller’: A Conversation with Ahdaf Soueif and Kamila Shamsie
Download the full text of ‘Representing Anything Limits You, Makes You Smaller' for free until the end of January, or read it in Wasafiri 10 8:
In the Name of the Joto, Mariposa, y Maricón by Andrés N Ordorica
Andrés N Ordorica delivers an electric reading of 'In the Name of the Joto, Mariposa, y Maricón' — a joyful prayer and blessing to queer Latinx identity, freedom, and culture.
Wasafiri Wonders: Lola Olufemi
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you. We spoke with Lola Olufemi, a black feminist writer and CREAM/Stuart Hall Foundation researcher from London.
Harriet's Party: An Excerpt from 'Love Marriage' by Monica Ali
To celebrate the launch of Wasafiri 109, read an extract from Monica Ali's Love Marriage (2021, Virago Books), a warm and tender novel that examines the ways in which class, race, and culture intersect in contemporary Britain.
‘Decolonisation is a constant struggle’: An Interview with Gloria Wekker 
Gloria Wekker is a Dutch-Surinamese Professor E merit a of Gender and Ethnicity at Utrecht University, and author of the book White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race (Duke University Press) .
A Place Called Home by Swati Arora
In the latest of Wasafiri's Global Dispatches series, Dr Swati Arora reflects on CA Davids' essay, answering with a piece that examines India's growing Hindu supremacy, the communal language of protest, and how the state's rhetoric around the Covid-19 pandemic can shore up systems of oppression.
autopsy by Asmaa Jama
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled emerging writers from all over the globe.
Fuck Marry Kill by Riddhi Dastidar
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled emerging writers from all over the globe.
'Against the background of collapse': A Conversation with Jessica Gaitán Johannesson and Daisy Hildyard
In this conversation between Wasafiri Writer-in-Residence Jessica Gaitán Johannesson and novelist Daisy Hildyard, both writers reflect on their upcoming books The Nerves and Their Endings and Emergency, and on the way that the climate emergency has affected and shaped their work.
If you read this backwards blood becomes wine by Jordan Hamel
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Two Poems from Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe
In these two poems from Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe’s Dylan Thomas P rize -shortlisted collection Auguries of a Minor God , the poet explores her own writing process , and the complex construction of her verse.
ramadan's greeting by Sanah Ahsan
In celebration of Ramadan, read Sanah Ahsan's evocative and rhythmic poem 'ramadan's greeting', and listen to an exclusive reading by the poet. we pluck the new moon / out of mecca’s sky … a lottery ball / make a guessing / of gods … plan / first fast will be Thursday / chuss me!
The Song of Life by Usha Rungoo
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, life writing pieces, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Hazel and Fiver by Shamini Sriskandarajah
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
The Claws Come First by Mónica Ibarra Parle
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Ghost Talker Poem by Dorsía Smith Silva
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Futures: African Imaginings by Irenosen Okojie
In the next essay in our Queen Mary Wasafiri Global Dispatches series, author Irenosen Okojie writes about the initiative that Africans are showing as they fight for community health and survival during the climate crisis.
‘We are louder when we are heard together': Sara Ahmed on Complaint!
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 109, Adrija Dey interviews Sara Ahmed, discussing Ahmed's experience of writing her book Complaint!, and the larger process of gathering testimonies, being a 'feminist ear', and working to advocate for others and oneself from an intersectional perspective.
Craft Episode 4 Transcript: Johny Pitts
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer, talking about one of their works, for about thirty minutes. This month, Johny Pitts explores the origins of his nonfiction travelogue, Afropean:
'The poetics of skin': Kayo Chingonyi's Introduction to 'More Fiya'
Twenty-four years after the publication of The Fire People –  the 1998 seminal collection curated by Lemn Sissay – comes More Fiya , an anthology of Black British poetry curated by poet and scholar Kayo Chingonyi.
Craft Episode 5 Transcript: Rob Nixon
Welcome to Craft. Each month, we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, Rob Nixon details the personal, political, and ecological crises that inspired his book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor .
On 'Crying Clowns' and 'Scandalous Deviants': An Interview with Sang Young Park and Anton Hur
Written by Sang Young Park and translated into English by Anton Hur,  Love in the Big City (Tilted Axis Press) was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize and has been widely praised for its sharp translation and its tender, humorous examination of Korean queer life.
The Books That Didn't Make Me by Jessica Gaitán Johannesson
In this piece, Wasafiri’s Writer-in-Residence, Jessica Gaitán Johannesson, interrogates the books that have – and haven’t – shaped her.
A Q&A with Marina Salandy-Brown, Chair of the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
Journalist, critic, and founder of the Bocas Lit Fest, Marina Salandy-Brown has contributed immensely to Caribbean literature and culture, as well as playing a key role in introducing and promoting that literary culture across the world.
Tessellation by Anam Raheem
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Wrecking Ball: Conversing with Gina Miller by Maria del Pilar Kaladeen
In 2016, when Gina Miller challenged the government's authority to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU, it catapulted her into the public eye, and resulted in a stream of misogynistic and racist abuse.
Craft Episode 6 Transcript: Bernardine Evaristo
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, Booker-Prize-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo, shares the origin of her first verse novel, Lara.
The Prediction by Dal Kular
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
'Write because you cannot live without writing': An interview with Mary Jean Chan and Preti Taneja
With just a short time left to enter the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, which closes on 30 June, 5pm BST, Wasafiri sat down with judges Mary Jean Chan and Preti Taneja to discuss writing advice, the importance of rejection, and what they're looking for in a winning entry.
almost-shahrazad by Shereen Leanne
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Eggs keep falling from the fourth floor by Bhavika Govil
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
Death Comes in Threes by Damion Spencer
Wasafiri is proud to publish the shortlisted works of the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by skilled new writers from all over the globe.
'Talking Histories, Making Stories': An Interview Between Richard Fung and Ramabai Espinet
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 110 – produced during the Covid-19 pandemic – video artist and writer Richard Fung interviews author Ramabai Espinet, discussing the intricate implications of Indo-Caribbean and Chinese cuisine, legacies of indentureship within their communities…
An Extract from What a Mother's Love Don't Teach You by Sharma Taylor
Winner of the 2020 Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Fiction for ' How You Make Jamaican Coconut Oil', Sharma Taylor’s debut novel, What a Mother’s Love Don’t Teach You, is a vivid and moving story of belonging, family, and inheritance.
Craft Episode 7: Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan 
Welcome to Craft . Each month, we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, author, educator, and performer Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discusses her poetry collection, Postcolonial Banter .
A Q&A with CHASE Intern, Jack Rutherford
Over the past five years, Wasafiri has had the privilege of working with PhD students on a CHASE placement to provide them valuable experience in the field of academic and literary publishing.
In Conversation with Idza Luhumyo, Winner of the 2022 AKO Caine Prize
In this interview, Idza Luhumyo talks about her various influences, the intersections between forms, and what she looks for when she's reading. Wasafiri: The Caine Prize is one of Africa's biggest literary prizes, and one that comes with a lot of global publicity and attention.
An Extract from Made in Mauritius by Amal Sewtohul
In this extract from Amal Sewtohul’s Made in Mauritius, translated from French by Nadiyah Abdullatif, the narrator explores his complex heritage, and the lineage of his father, an worker from China, who would eventually make his way to Mauritius. Wasafiri 110:
A Reading of 'Canefield' by Shivanee Ramlochan
In this powerful video, Shivanee Ramlochan reads her poem 'Canefield'. First published in Wasafiri 110: Afterlives of Indenture, the poem is a sorrowful exploration of pain and legacy, and a tribute to those whose stories remain untold. Wasafiri 110:
Wasafiri Wonders: Antony Huen
Ever wondered what your favourite writer’s first drafts look like?
Meditations: Fahad Al-Amoudi on Anthony Joseph's 'Sonnets for Albert'
Wasafiri’s ‘Meditations’ is a new series that features creative and personal responses to new literature, asking writers to seek connections with themselves, their own work, and the text they’re reading.
An Excerpt of 'The Burke Street Chronicles' by Ingrid Persaud
Read an exclusive extract from Ingrid Persaud's 'The Burke Street Chronicles', first published in  Wasafiri 110, and part of a series of sharp, funny audio short stories produced by BBC Sounds. You can read the full excerpt in Wasafiri 110, now available to download or purchase online.
Inheritance by Dur e Aziz Amna
In this fluid, lyrical piece of life writing, Dur e Aziz Amna reflects on a study abroad program in Paris, and in doing so, interrogates the idolisation of canons, her longing for literary forefathers, and the ideas and forces that went into creating her debut novel, American Fever.
A World Within Walls by Sophie Jai
In this lyrical, layered essay, author Sophie Jai examines the experience of writing and publishing her debut novel Wild Fires , and the ways in which history resonates on through centuries and generations. Wasafiri 110:
Syncretic Spaces: On Wendy Nanan by Olga U Herrera
In this visual essay, including exclusive photos, Olga U Herrera explores the work of Wendy Nanan, and her dedication to capturing the nuances of her own life and the world around her.
An Extract from Hostile Environment by Chinmay Sharma
Read an exclusive extract from Chinmay Sharma's short story 'Hostile Environment', a meditation on distance, relationships and love. You can read the full excerpt in  Wasafiri 111: Translating Lives, now available to download or purchase online.
Craft Episode 8: Meena Kandasamy
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, award-winning novelist, poet, and translator, Meena Kandasamy offers insight into her translation of the book, Women Dreaming by Tamil author, Salma.
Islam and Me by Shirin Ramzanali Fazel
In this extract from 'Islam and Me', written and translated by Shirin Ramzanali Fazel with assistance from Simone Brioni, the author reckons with Italy's systemic racism, and her experiences with family, assimilation culture, and immigration.
Two Poems by Reem Abbas
In these two bilingual poems, Reem Abbas probes notions of language, family, and voice. Elegant and rhythmic, Abbas makes use of the gaps between words and worlds, raising questions of home and remembrance. Wasafiri 111:
Craft Episode 9: Saidiya Hartman
Welcome to Craft. Each month we bring you one international writer, talking about one of their works for about thirty minutes. This month, literary scholar and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman discusses her groundbreaking work, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments:
'Rediscovering Self, Race, and Class Through Cultural Translation': An Interview with Will Harris by Jennifer Wong
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 111: Translating Lives, Jennifer Wong interviews fellow poet Will Harris on his debut collection RENDANG, and the craft, experiences, and ideas that went into writing it.
My mother tells her sister you have your husband and I have my flowers by Vasiliki Albedo
In this quietly devastating poem, Vasiliki Albedo effortlessly crafts a narrative of domestic tension, inspired and informed by one of van Gogh's paintings. Together, Albedo blurs memory and art to deliver a striking, painful portrait of childhood.
Another Way of Looking: Talking to Inua Ellams
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 112:
Trouble by Jade E Bradford
Read this exclusive extract from Jade E Bradford's short story 'Trouble', first published in Wasafiri 112: Reimagining Education, which paints a startling and empathic portrait of the systemic racism and oppression embedded in educational systems, with blunt, evocative prose.
Pedagogies of Defiance by Sita Balani
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 112: Reimagining Education, Sita Balani considers the dissonance of the university's role in authoritarian nationalism and simultaneous embrace of the language of ‘decolonisation'.
On Not Getting a Caird Research Fellowship... by Naomi Foyle
In this sharp, rhythmic poem from Naomi Foyle, a catalogue of items serves to dissect a long legacy of colonialism and racism, and challenges the inherent violence in the ways we archive and perpetuate the British Empire.
Two Poems by Rakhshan Rizwan
In these two poems from Rakhshan Rizwan's debut collection Europe, Love Me Back (The Emma Press), the poet probes ideas of systemic racism in academia and unbelonging with an unerringly sharp eye for language and imagery.
They Wanted To Write So I Told Them To Dance by Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa
In this passionate and joyful article – accompanied by an exclusive poem from her debut collection Cane, Corn & Gully – poet, dancer, and choreographer Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa explores her experience teaching writing through movement…
A ‘Balanced’ History of Empire: Sathnam Sanghera’s Empireland and Other Colonial Anti-Colonial Histories
In this exclusive extract from Wasafiri 112: Reimagining Education, Kavita Bhanot writes about Sathnam Sanghera’s much-lauded book, Empireland:
Ambient Language by Stephanie Sy-Quia
In this essay, Stephanie Sy-Quia reflects on the five languages in her family, learning and un-learning language, and the multilingual environment’s earliest lesson – all through anecdotes from childhood and her experiences growing up across countries and cultures – and explores classism, (de)…
Notes for a Dictionary of Walking the Fingers by Dan Byam Shaw
Wasafiri is pleased to publish the pieces shortlisted for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. The poems, essays, and short stories in this series showcase the best new writing from the best new writers across the globe – in all their diversity and complexity.
At the Allama Iqbal International Airport by Hera Naguib
Wasafiri is pleased to publish the pieces shortlisted for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. The poems, essays, and short stories in this series showcase the best new writing from the best new writers across the globe – in all their diversity and complexity.
Season by Rebecca Tamás
In this exclusive extract from 'Season' by Rebecca Tamás, a slow, moving meditation on ritual and the nonhuman life which opens our spring issue, Wasafiri 113, we see the seasons change – from spring to summer – during the early days of the pandemic.
Wasafiri Wonders: Rachel Bolle-Debessay
Ever wondered what your favourite writer’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of?  Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
Vecchia Bambina by Jailan Zayan
Wasafiri is pleased to publish the pieces shortlisted for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. The poems, essays and short stories in this series showcase the best new writing from the best new writers across the globe — in all their diversity and complexity.

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