ISBN 9789987082384
Pages 74
Dimensions 203 x 133mm
Published 2014
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Paperback

Connected Journeys

by Joanna Skelt

Joanna Skelt is currently the City of Birmingham Poet Laureate, UK. This collection presents poems around the theme of the central core of her worldview: the inter-connectedness of cultures and peoples. From the multicultural communities of Birmingham depicted with deep empathy, to her times spent in Africa, she reflects on the differences of peoples and sameness of the human experience; and on her perceptions of the beauties of place in all their myriad manifestations, as in the title poem: "The great wheel turns into 2014, another archway and races on...Each new year we stop, link hands sweep the past aside as if it were easy to rejuvenate, rebuild, reinvent ourselves as if it were easy to forgive". Addressing the challenges and realities of our world, she sees hope in the "glorious and extraordinary merging and transcending of difference". Joanna's work and readings reveal a passionate engagement with the world around her (and beyond) through its many levels and layers. It is perhaps not surprising that her own story, losses and loves have been deeply linked to this ongoing narrative.

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About the Author

Joanna Skelt

Joanna Skelt holds a PhD in African Studies. She has run writing workshops in arts centres, schools and libraries and in settings such as a Somali restaurant and a city allotment in Birmingham. Her dramatic readings are sometimes accompanied by improvised jazz performances. The Arts Council of England commissioned Joanna to write and perform poetry with Sierra Leonean poet Syl Cheney Coker and to coordinate a literature and citizenship project between Freetown and Birmingham, working with musicians from City of Birmingham Symphony Hall. Having moved around England to Birmingham and worked in Ghana and Sierra Leone, and earlier in Nigeria, Uganda and Jamaica, her poems represent a unique international English, or perhaps Anglopolitan, perspective and gaze. Her current research explores representations of the Pakistani community in the UK.