Do you intend to teach your readers about Kurdish history in your poetry?

There is an element of that, but there's also an element of processing the past. I think my English book Life For Us is a very personal journey, you know it starts with displacement, ends with mixed marriage and future children. It's a very concrete journey of a person but as well of that it is a journey of a family, my family, and a journey of a people, the Kurds (at least the Kurds in Iraq). Some of the poems have dates, for example; Escape Journey 1988, At the Border 1979, The Spoils 1988 and so on, because they are historical events, moments in time. But I also write because I love writing, because various things inspire me. For example I read a poem by Jacob Polley called Moving House, which inspired me very much, it's about a person literally moving a house, physically, piece by piece moving the house and...I guess you would see in a poem what you would see, it's your perspective you're bringing to the poem. When I read that poem which is very playful, I nearly started crying because I realised that that's exactly what we do as immigrants, we think we leave our countries behind but we actually physically move them with us, we take the language, we take the culture, we take the honour killing, we take the warmth, we take the hospitality, we take the music, we take the food. And that's how I wrote a poem called Before You Leave, and it is about physically actually trying to move your language, your places, your school, your things, so sometimes I start off very innocently reading other people's work, and somehow that triggers something that is related to my own history. I guess many creative things happen like that, when ideas clash together and they create something new.


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