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Poetry

Poetry

Two poems by Aaiún Nin

Aaiun Nin, Angolan spoken word poet and artist, was born in Luanda but currently lives in Copenhagen. Nin’s work touches on themes of racism and sexuality and it is an ongoing examination of pain and...

Text: Aaiún Nin October 06 2020
Poetry

Four poems from Hong Kong

Matthew Cheng — poet, critic, and editor of the magazine Voice and Verse. He has published three collections of poetry and is the co-author of Wait and See, an anthology of poetry by six young Hong...

Text: Matthew Cheng September 17 2020
Poetry

Two poems by Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir

In the poem “A bird clock” the Icelandic poet Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir speaks to us from an unknown place far away. The poem becomes a personal meditation on the interaction of the quiet moments of...

Text: Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir July 21 2020
Poetry

Two poems by Arinda Daphine

With her politically loaded texts the performing poet and social justice lawyer Arinda Daphine calls for action. She wants to awaken her audience and contribute to change in Uganda — a country...

Text: Arinda Daphine June 16 2020
Poetry

Two poems by Tahir Hamut

Tahir Hamut is considered one of the foremost modernist poets in the Uyghur language today. For three years in the 1990s, he was jailed in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region after being falsely accused...

Text: Tahir Hamut May 15 2020
Poetry

Two poems by Erkan Kadir

“There’s no land for us,” writes the poet Erkan Kadir in his poem “Poverty” about the tragic destiny of the Uyghur in China. In 2016 he left the Xinjiang Province in China for studies in Turkey, but...

Author: Erkan Kadir May 08 2020
Poetry

To my friends from Chile

In 2003 the writer and poet Abdushukur Muhammet fled the oppression in the Xinjiang Province in China. Today he lives with his family in Sweden. His three published works in Uyghur can no longer be...

Text: Abdushukur Muhammet April 27 2020
Poetry

From a distance

In 2015 the Iranian poet and activist Fatemeh Ekhtesari was sentenced to 99 lashes and eleven and a half years of imprisonment for alleged crimes against the Islamic regime—immoral conduct and...

Text: Fatemeh Ekhtesari March 13 2020
Poetry

Uganda’s cyber laws can’t silence Stella Nyanzi

Can one be imprisoned for having published a poem on one’s Facebook page? The answer is yes—in Uganda. In August 2019 the Ugandan writer and women’s rights activist Stella Nyanzi was sentenced to...

Text: Stella Nyanzi January 13 2020
Poetry

In America

Writers all over the world are today subjected to daily threats for practicing their basic human rights to freely express what they want in whichever language they choose. During her term of office...

Text: Jennifer Clement November 08 2019
Poetry

So beautiful are the tongues

Alfred Msdala is a poet, critic, and currently the chairperson of PEN Malawi. During his term as chairperson, PEN Malawi has established a translation committee with the aim of translating important...

Text: Alfred Msadala October 25 2019
Poetry

“Our essence changes, fades away”

Enriqueta Lunez, born in Chiapas in Mexico in 1981, is a poet and writer who belongs to the new generation of Tsotsil writers in the country writing in Tsotsil instead of Spanish. Her poems revolve...

Text: Enriqueta Lunez October 18 2019
Poetry

Takeout Poem

Writer and poet Cao Shuying was born in Harbin in northern China, but is currently living in Hong Kong. PEN/Opp publishes one of her poems—a poem where an unruly rebellious force is ever present:...

Text: Cao Shuying June 13 2019
Poetry

Burn After Reading

Lui Waitong’s poem “Read and Burn” is a personal text that depicts generations of suffering against the foil of Chinese history. The author takes a retrospective look at her maternal grandfather who...

Text: Liu Waitong June 13 2019
Poetry

Writing Despite Inarticulateness

“They did everything to keep us asleep,” says Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, writer and Chairperson of PEN Hong Kong, in one of her poems. Ever present in her poetry is the worry she feels for the future of Hong...

Text: Tammy Ho Lai-Ming June 13 2019

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