Over the long weekend in NSW we have been putting the finishing touches on the Mohammad Ali Maleki’s new chapbook Truth in the Cage. Being hand made the final step is trimming each book.
Mohammad Ali Maleki’ is an Iranian poet and avid gardener who has been living in detention on Manus Island for four years. His poetry, written in Farsi, is translated into English by fellow detainee Mansour Shoushtari. Mohammad uses his mobile phone to send his poems to friends in Australia who help to edit, share and publish them. Mohammad’s poem ‘The Strong Sunflower’ was the impetus for, and first work published on, Verity La’s Discoursing Diaspora project. Since then, his writing has been published by online literary journal Bluepepper and by the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group. He has been a featured poet on Rochford Street Review and his poems and letters have been included in the Dear Prime Minister Project and at the Denmark Festival of Voice. His poem ‘Tears of Stone’ was shortlisted for the Red Room Company’s 2016 New Shoots Poetry Prize and received Special Commendation for extraordinary work in extreme circumstances. His poem ‘Silence Land’ was performed at the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival as part of the Writing Through Fences performance, Through the Moon. Despite living in extreme conditions, Mohammad continues to create poetry, saying ‘You can find my whole life in my poems, like a letter to God’.
Truth in the Cage will be available shortly through Rochford Street Press and Verity La and launch details will be finalised shortly. If you want to be informed when Truth in the Cage is available and to be informed of launch details please email firstname.lastname@example.org.