I’m feeling something deeper too. A fizz in my stomach, a slight edge of fear. It suddenly doesn’t feel that long since my Dad died. I wonder —in the off way people who do not believe in the afterlife might wonder—if my Dad will hear me reading about him. If he’d be happy to fill the room with me, if our voice will carry.
I hope so. Because at the very least, I want him to be proud. The same way he was proud to see my first poem published in a school anthology. I remember him saying that he didn’t understand it but that it looked nice on the page, neat and important.
And, for those of us still alive, I hope this collection will help to start a conversation too. One about loss or addiction or fathers. I hope the poems will offer a small, collective invitation to peer into the dark things in life and talk about them.
For those interested, please do come along to one of my national launches, readings or events and say ‘hello’. Let’s get this conversation going.
In the holy city of Varanasi the waxing moon is a hammock and I am Alice, fallen down the rabbit-hole into an oddly strange-yet-familiar land where sacred bulls wade freely through tight alleys because they are a living representation of Nandi who serves the god Shiva. I wake in darkness at 5.30am to rolling bells and a woman chanting through loudspeakers. Men dressed in red robes weave fire torches before The Ganges as the sun rises in answer to their summons. We climb through this liminal space onto a rowing boat where the crease of oars counts time along the...
Writer Ece Temelkuran describes the struggle to maintain her Turkish language while writing in English. She now lives in Croatia's capital Zagreb and she discusses the pain of beginning to forget basic words in her mother tongue.