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Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352

Abstract

This article reflects on the power of poetry to reframe the concepts of home, arrival and belonging, each of which is important in understanding the relationship between migration and culture. It traces the journey of a collective poem – ‘Grapes in My Father’s Yard’ – that was created during the Material Stories of Migration project in Sheffield in 2015; was performed at Migration Matters Festival and has since been shared in multiple digital and material formats between 2015 and 2022. The text’s trajectory demonstrates poetry’s capacity to transgress structural and grammatical norms and capture that which is absent, ambiguous and elusive in the idea of ‘home’. The poem intertwines different languages and flows between them, enacting the give and take of linguistic and cultural translation. This article draws on follow-up interviews and ongoing discussion with project participants and creative facilitators to explore how the ‘storying’ of migrant lives is an ongoing creative process that poetry can illuminate. ‘Grapes in My Father’s Yard’ articulates how post-arrival life for migrants is not a linear, forward-moving process but a kind of re-dwelling in lost homes and landscapes, the beginning of a micro-bordering which continues for years. The poem calls on us to read between the lines and to seek out the silences, as much as it asks us to listen to the words.

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2023-01-30
2024-07-16
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): arrival; belonging; creative arts; journeys; multilingualism; performance; stories
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