Sunday, 20 October 2013

In Protest

In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights.























This blog is meant to be about swimming and mostly I think that it is but it's also about my life and so I wanted to mention something that I have been working on for the last 6 months+ and is very important to me.

'In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights' is a poetry anthology that I have been working on with three other people since the beginning of the year. It is something I am very proud of. It is a fabulous book (obviously I'm bias but it truly is wonderful) and I am very proud to have my name on the front cover as co-editor along side Poet Laila Sumpton and Human Rights expert Helle Abelvik-Lawson.

As you can no doubt work out from the title, the book is made up of 150 Human Rights Poems. I'll be honest; it's not an easy read. There are some very difficult themes tackled within the book but I think that this is why it is such a special book.

We had a open call for submissions in March which led to over 600 poems being sent in from all over the world. There were so many amazing poems sent in, it was truly overwhelming and a very difficult job to cut them down to the "best" 150. However, it was better this way around. Initially we were worried that we wouldn't have enough submissions to fill a book. But due to hard work and a bit of luck the word got out there and the poems came flooding in faster than... I can't think of a suitable metaphor. & I call myself a poet!

I have been very lucky to have been involved with this project. I am completely chuffed that there is a book with my name on the front. It's crazy!!! And I'm really proud of the book. I think that it does (or at least attempts to do) three things. It raises important issues that needed to be considered and debated. It is an excellent crossover between poetry and Human Rights, encouraging Human Rights activists to appreciate poetry and educating poets and poetry readers about Human Rights struggles and social injustice. Finally and most importantly it places, up and coming and lesser known poets next to some very well know poets including (Poet Laureate) Carol Ann Duffy, Ruth Padel and James Byrne. There is just one thing (one negative thing). It's amazing to have my name on a book but the next time it happens (hopefully there is a next time) I hope I've written what's inside!

The book launch is today (Sunday 20th October 2013) I'm very excited as you can imagine (not least to get my hands on a copy) and so I just had to share this with you "all". I'll go back to blogging about swimming in a couple of days.

For more info about the book click here.
For more info on the (free) book launch (with free wine) click here
& to buy a copy of the book click here.

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