Proud to have published Audre Lorde in the UK | Letters

At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, The Cancer Journals, Our Dead Behind Us, and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays, writes Sue O’Sullivan

RO Kwon’s review of a welcome new collection of Audre Lorde’s work (4 October) rightly highlights the late American writer’s relevance for today. But her assertion that Lorde was never published in the UK is wrong. At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (UK 1984, republished 1990), The Cancer Journals (1985), Our Dead Behind Us (1987), and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays (1988). Sheba also hosted Lorde on her trips to the UK when many hundreds of women heard her speak. For a wonderful evocation of Audre’s impact as a writer and person, read Jackie Kay’s article in a recent edition of the New Statesman (30 September). When ...

Proud to have published Audre Lorde in the UK | Letters

At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, The Cancer Journals, Our Dead Behind Us, and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays, writes Sue O’Sullivan

RO Kwon’s review of a welcome new collection of Audre Lorde’s work (4 October) rightly highlights the late American writer’s relevance for today. But her assertion that Lorde was never published in the UK is wrong. At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (UK 1984, republished 1990), The Cancer Journals (1985), Our Dead Behind Us (1987), and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays (1988). Sheba also hosted Lorde on her trips to the UK when many hundreds of women heard her speak. For a wonderful evocation of Audre’s impact as a writer and person, read Jackie Kay’s article in a recent edition of the New Statesman (30 September). When ...

Richard Wilbur obituary

US poet laureate, translator and Pulitzer prizewinner with the ability to touch unsettling truths beneath the surface in his work

In 1957, when he won the Pulitzer prize for his third book of poetry, Things of This World, Richard Wilbur, who has died aged 96, was clearly one of the leading young poets in the US. He combined seemingly casual elegance with painstaking craft, and his ability to touch unsettling truths beneath the surface made him heir apparent to Robert Frost. Tall, handsome and as graceful as his poetry, Wilbur might have been cast as a poet by Hollywood. That his reputation never matched that of his mentor Frost was not due to any failing in his work, but to the times in which he lived.

Wilbur’s ascent coincided with a sea change in the landscape of American poetry, a reaction to the academic strictness of “new criticism” in the ...

Poem of the week: Ay, But Can Ye? by Vladimir Mayakovsky

To mark the centenary of Russia’s revolution, an energetic reflection on how to make similarly radical art in a startling Scots translation by Edwin Morgan

Ay, But Can Ye?

Wi a jaup the darg-day map’s owre-pentit –
I jibbled colour frae a tea-gless;
Ashets o jellyteen presentit
To me the gret sea’s camshach cheek-bleds.
A tin fish, ilka scale a mou –
I’ve read the cries o a new warld through’t.
But you
Wi denty thrapple
Can ye wheeple
Nocturnes frae a rone-pipe flute?

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‘I dream of being an accountant’: Wall of Dreams shines refugees’ hopes over London

As a huge projection over London’s Southbank Centre illuminates the wishes of the city’s displaced people, participants explain some of their stories

Mohammed, a gangly 17-year-old who fled Syria with no hope of seeing his family again, dreams of being a footballer. Drita saw a side to humanity no 16-year-old should during her journey from eastern Europe. Now, she has pinned her hopes on becoming a teacher.

Abu has a dream too. The 18-year-old longs to stand in his grandmother’s kitchen in South Sudan, mouth watering in anticipation of her cooking. It is a dream he has consigned to fantasy. “I can’t see me being able to go back,” he says.

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Happiness is a salty potato – and other life lessons from Russian literature

Don’t trust a woman who wears too much perfume and know your limits – Viv Groskop on the 10 top tips Chekov, Tolstoy and others have for us today

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
This is the five-page kernel of what Henry James called “the large, loose, baggy monster” (read from page 1,074 of the Penguin Classics edition). The character of Platon Karatayev, the everyman muzhik (peasant), pops up fleetingly to proffer a potato sprinkled with salt to Pierre Bezukhov and deliver the most important message of Tolstoy’s entire oeuvre: love your parents, have children of your own, bear your fate with acceptance and patience. And relish every mouthful of that salty potato.

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