Migritude I: When Saris Speak (The Mother)
is coming out as a book, in June. It will be published by Italian poetry press, Lietocolle
, in a bilingual Italian-English edition. We will mark the official launch at the Genoa International Poetry Festival, where I will perform, on June 20 -21.
Huge thanks are due to Pina Piccolo, my amazing Italian translator and tireless promoter of Migritude in Italy. And to Marta Matteini, Migritude's second Italian fairy godmother, for bringing the work to Genoa.
Translated by Pina Piccolo and Marta Matteini
Dramaturg, Director, and Creative Development Partner: Kim Cook
Contributing Writer: Chandrika Patel
Cover photograph: D. Ross Cameron.
From the publisher's website: Kenyan poet, Shailja Patel, has received standing ovations at the World Social Forum and other international venues, for her powerful live performances. Patel uses voice and body to dissolve the barriers between literature and theatre, and reclaims poetry as a living oral art. In Migritude 1: When Saris Speak, she unfurls stories of women's lives and migrant journeys, in the bootprint of Empire, in poetry and narrative that go from hilarious to heartbreaking to achingly beautiful. Here we have a political history told from a personal perspective, in poetry that addresses the intellect and the heart at the same time.
The strength and vitality of Shailja Patel's poetry, and the clarity of her worldview, are a significant contribution to presenting the world of the so-called "Other" in a way that is immune from what Edward Said called Orientalism. Even the richest textured lines and images she bequeaths her readers/audience in the final part of her work, i.e., the daughter's gift of reconciliation to the mother, her poetry as "… a ship of glittering songs to sail your jewels in./Staking a masthead of verbs to fly your saris from!/This work which filigrees and inlays all your legacies..." clearly belong to the imagination of a 21st century voice for justice. A voice that is building bridges, and belongs to the whole world.
Following the Genoa International Poetry Festival, I look forward to sharing the book at the first WALTIC (World Authors and Literary Translators Conference)
in Stockholm. I have been invited to open the conference with a performance at the inauguration ceremony.See the book , and sample excerpts
(in Italian and English).
We at Migritude heartily endorse the following template response (created by Migritude fan, Pablo Dosh):AWESOME!!! Looks great! That is such a good photo that I am fully prepared to judge the book by its cover. Is the web site the logical place to buy a copy for a Minnesota customer? My Italian is, um, non-existent. [Shailja's note: Instructions on how to buy the book online coming shortly]
So happy/proud/excited! And at 13 Euros, I can just buy a stack for all my Christmas presents this year :)