Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf's debut The Sea Migrations

Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf's debut The Sea Migrations


The Sunday Times, Sunday 26 November 2017, Poetry Books of the Year

Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf’s The Sea Migrations (Somali title: Tahriib), her first full-length book of poems, was chosen by Jeremy Noel-Tod as his top Poetry Book of the Year in the Sunday Times. The book was published by Bloodaxe Books with The Poetry Translation Centre in November 2017. Translated by Clare Pollard

‘Sometimes a book reminds us of poetry’s real electric force in the world.  Yusuf is a brilliant young Somali poet living in exile in London, who takes ‘history’s point/to ink a beautiful literature.’… Translated into lapel-grabbing alliterative verse by Clare Pollard, these piercingly direct poems throw open a window onto a war-torn country and its wretchedly displaced people.’ – Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times, Poetry Book of the Year

‘Verse with a powerful electric force leads off Jeremy Noel-Tod’s choice of the year’s best collections’:
Read here.

Mother Tongue: Close Encounters, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 6 August 2017, rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, 27 June 2021, 12pm & 5pm

Daljit Nagra chose to rebroadcast this episode of the Mother Tongue series on Poetry Extra on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 27 June 2021.

The fourth episode of this globe-trotting poetry series presented by poet Helen Mort included an interview with Somali poet Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf and her translator Clare PollardThe Sea Migrations (Somali title: Tahriib), Asha’s first full-length book of poems, was published by Bloodaxe Books with The Poetry Translation Centre in November 2017. 

‘Seeing Asha and Clare together, I can see how generous and thoughtful the translation process has been, and how this close encounter between two writers and their poems has led to a literary friendship.’ – Helen Mort

Asha read the opening of her long poem The Sea-Migrations in Somali, and Clare read it in English.  They also read the poem ‘Taste’.  Asha has lived in Britain for over 20 years, but only started writing poetry about 10 years ago.   Asha and Clare will be reading together at Manchester LIterature Festival on 7 October.

‘Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is fast emerging as one of the most outstanding Somali-language poets writing today. Her bold and striking poems are translated by British poet Clare Pollard. They join Helen to talk about the place of poetry in Somali culture and their translation partnership, which came about through the Poetry Translation Centre. With poems from her collection The Sea-Migrations. We also hear a lost poem from the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. It's one of a small number of previously unpublished poems recently discovered among his papers and published in the collection Then Come Back.’

Interview with Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf & her translator Clare Pollard is the 1st item.

Click here for details. No longer available to listen to.

[15 August 2017]

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