‘The bravest people on earth’: On Displacement

‘The bravest people on earth’: On Displacement

Reflect on home, exile, journeys, war, and humanity.

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee, writes in her poem ‘Mediterranean Blue’ that refugees are ‘the bravest people on earth right now’. Although the term ‘refugee’ was first applied in Western historical texts as late as 1540, it would seem people have been fleeing their homes for reasons ranging from persecution to environmental disaster since the start of human history. According to the UNHCR, in 2019 there are 70.8 million ‘forcibly displaced people worldwide’. From Subsaharan Africa to Central America and beyond, crises all over the globe have led to mass displacement, leading to the highest numbers of refugees ever recorded.  

In this online course, we will explore the poetry that has emerged as an unprecedented amount of people grapple with a loss of home and face a global political climate hostile to asylum seekers. Reading poetry by refugees as well as the children of refugees and other poets on the topic of displacement, we will look at how writers from distinct places and conditions have used the art form to record their sorrows, but also chronicle their courage and hope as they seek new homes. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.  

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. For more information visit our Online Courses page. 

Image credit: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

About Natasha Hakimi Zapata View Profile

Natasha Hakimi Zapata is a poet, journalist, university lecturer, and literary translator whose work has appeared on The Nation, Los Angeles Review of Books, In These Times, and elsewhere. She has received numerous awards for her creative writing, journalism, and literary criticism, and holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English with a creative writing concentration from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2016, Literal Publishing released full-length bilingual editions of her translations of Alicia Borinsky’s My Husband’s Woman and Liliana Lukin’s Theater of Operations. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter at @natashakimiz. 

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