Songs We Learn from Trees
Songs We Learn from Trees

Songs We Learn from Trees

An Anthology of Ethiopian Amharic Poetry

Translated by Chris Beckett, Translated by Alemu Tebeje

POETRY

304 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Paperback, ebook: EPUB, ebook: PDF, Mobipocket

Paperback, $25.99 (US $25.99) (CA $34.99)

Publication Date: July 2020

ISBN 9781784109479

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Overview

This is the very first anthology of Ethiopian poetry in English, packed with all the energy, wit, and heartache of a beautiful country and language. From folk and religious poems, warrior boasts, praises of women and kings and modern plumbing; through a flowering of literary poets in the twentieth century; right up to thirty of the most exciting contemporary Amharic poets working both inside and outside the country. These poems ask what it means to be Ethiopian today, part of a young, fast-growing economy, heirs to the one African state which was never colonised, but beset by deep political, ethnic, and moral problems.

Author Biography

Chris Beckett was born in London but grew up in Ethiopia. His second collection of poems, Ethiopia Boy, was published by Carcanet/Oxford Poets in 2013. Sketches from the Poem Road, a collaboration with Japanese artist Isao Miura, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award 2015. His translations (with Alemu Tebeje and others) have been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, PN Review, The Missing Slate and Asymptote Journal. With Gale Burns, he co-hosts The Shuffle reading series in Covent Garden. He is a trustee of the Anglo-Ethiopian Society and the Poetry Society. Alemu Tebeje is an Ethiopian journalist, poet, lyric writer and human rights campaigner who left Ethiopia in the early 1990s and now lives next to Grenfell Tower in London. He runs the website www.debteraw.com and his poems have been published in Amharic, Chinese and English, as well as being projected on buildings in Denmark, Italy, USA and UK by US artist, Jenny Holzer. His first bilingual collection of poems, Greetings to the People of Europe, was published by Tamrat Books in 2018 and includes the script of a sketch commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for a migrant re-imagining of Homer's Odyssey, My Name is Nobody.
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