Poetry Book of the Month

*SHORTLISTED FOR THE FORWARD PRIZE 2023* Diaspora is witnessing a murder without getting blood on your shirt. ‘A once in a generation poet’ CALEB FEMI, author of POOR ‘Energising, radical and remarkable’ JACK UNDERWOOD, author HAPPINESS ‘A new turn in global anglophone poetry’KAYO CHINGONYI, author of A BLOOD CONDITION

The definition of diaspora is the dispersion of people from their original homeland. But what does it mean to write diaspora poetry? Momtaza Mehri’s debut collection poses this question, taking us from Mogadishu to Naples, Lampedusa to London.

Mixing her own family’s experience with the stories of many others across nineteenth- and twentieth-century Somalia, Bad Diaspora Poems confronts the ambivalent nature of speaking for those who have been left behind. We meet the poet, the translator, the refugee, the exile, and the diaspora kid attempting to transcend their cliched angst. Told in lyric, prose and text messages, and taking place in living rooms and marketplaces, on buses and balconies, on transatlantic journeys and online, these are essential poems about our diasporic age.