Poems about migration

Winter 2016

Karen McCarthy Woolf and Sophie Herxheimer were both invited to make work on the theme of migration as part of a project in the National Maritime Museum running in their RE*THINK studio and education space during 2015. Herxheimer’s work was as an artist, to listen to visitors and draw their stories of home. McCarthy Woolf’s was a longer writer’s residency, and she made many responses to the questions the theme raises, drawing from her own experience as well as the continuing unbearable news of the current crisis facing people globally, displaced by war. She looked at the squeezes put on London too, by class war, in her poems about gentrification, as well as the different waves of refugees and migrants historically, including her father, with a long, moving poem, Voyage, about the ship he arrived on from Jamaica in 1957. This year they collaborated on a pamphlet that contains some of their work from the RE*THINK space. Also called Voyage, it contains seven new poems and an essay by Karen, and eighteen stories collected and drawn live by Sophie. This is available from the National Maritime Museum for a £10 donation, which will be split between the South London Refugee Association and the cost of printing. 

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Soundings 64: Critical times