Momtaza Mehri

Bad Diaspora Poems

Bad Diaspora Poems

Winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection

Summary

Diaspora is witnessing a murder without getting blood on your shirt.

***WINNER OF THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST COLLECTION***
***A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023***

'Exceptional… Mehri is a truly transnational poet of the twenty-first century'

BERNARDINE EVARISTO, author of Girl, Woman, Other

'A once in a generation poet'
CALEB FEMI, author of Poor

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 clichéd 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.