New Voices for Europe podcast series (1)
My advice is: don’t accept the label of a ‘refugee writer’
Marcia Lynx Qualey in conversation with Ghayath Almadhoun
The Palestinian-Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun has been living in Sweden since he sought asylum when he was invited to a festival there in 2008. He decided never to do anything other than be a poet, and fourteen years later he has managed to keep his word. Poetry is his only occupation, and he has more recently settled in Berlin, thanks to the DAAD artists residency. His advice to writers arriving from conflict zones is not to fall into the ‘refugee trap’ set up by well-meaning people, not to take the ‘short route’ by accepting a refugee identity rather than that of a writer.