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From Havana to Reykjavik

Cuban poet Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was forced to leave his home country in 2013 after having been denounced as a “traitor” to his country and accused of carrying out “counter-revolutionary” activities...

Text: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo March 10 2016

My Eritrea

Poet and journalist Haile Bizen is known in his native Eritrea by the epithet “the man who broke the silence”. He was forced to flee the country after repeated persecution and systematic interrogation...

Text: Haile Bizen April 08 2015

Poems in exile

Iranian poet, LGBT and human rights activist Elham Malekpoor has published several collections of poetry, most of which have been censored in Iran. She particularly deals with child labour and queer...

Text: Elham Malekpoor December 16 2014

Diary of the silent

Syrian poet, Housam Al-Mosilli, was forced to flee Syria in 2012 after he was imprisoned three times and repeatedly tortured. Today, he lives in exile in Turkey. In the poem, “Diary of the silent,” he...

Text: Housam Al-Mosilli September 10 2014

The spring of blood and ashes

“Blood and ash from the stolen Arabian spring / have penetrated the mornings, evenings and nights,” writes Syrian poet Bandar Abdulhamid in his collection of poems. The brutal reality of Syria is...

Text: Bandar Abdulhamid September 10 2014

While we are waiting

Syrian poet Amira Abul Husn is one of those who have chosen to remain in the war-torn country, using her pen to bear witness to all that is going on around her. In her poetry, she depicts fragments of...

Text: Amira Abul Husn September 10 2014

Wash your hands

The pseudonym Pandora is one the most influential poets in Burma today. In 2012, she published an anthology entitled Tuning: An Anthology of Myanmar Women Poets, which is the first book of its kind...

Text: Pandora March 13 2014

So here we are

“It is only this generation of 20- and 30-year-olds that are able to write about the conditions here and now, and view the Soviet Union as a purely historical era,” writes critic Natasha Perova...

Text: Irina Bogatyreva December 19 2013

Day of rage

The poet Kirill Medvedev is today considered to be one of the most promising poets of his generation. He was also one of the activists who openly protested the trial of Pussy Riot last year, when he...

Text: Kirill Medvedev December 19 2013

From the cycle of poems “Cognitive capitalism”

Alexander Skidan (born in 1965) is one of Russia's most critical social poets. His poetry often emanates from the complex interplay between ethics, aesthetics and politics. In this newly written poem...

Text: Alexander Skidan December 19 2013

Syria: Curses

Put on your clothes and leave You can walk out naked if you wish The blood of the dead that does not disturb your sleep...

Text: Amira Abul Husn October 24 2013

Syria: The barricades

The woman with the expressive face There she stands with a look of intense surprise on her face on an ordinary morning...

Text: Hazim Alazmah October 24 2013

Syria: Die from the stabs of despair

1 Yesterday evening I wrote a short poem about a mortar shell and hoped that it would fly off to neverwhere. When the...

Text: Ali Safar October 24 2013

Syria: Cowboys, gangsters and pirates

When I was a child I hated Hollywood films I hated watching violence and police chases I hated films about famous...

Text: Lina Tibi October 23 2013