Homesickness and Exile


Homesickness and Exile

Edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright

Illustrated by Emma Wright

Paperback ISBN 978 1 910139 02 8
Publication date: 18th September 2014
88pp / 40 poems / 10 illustrations
Price: £10 (paperback)/£5.50 (ebook)

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How does it feel to be a foreigner? Can you choose where you call home? What if you reject your home or your home rejects you? Poets from across the world offer moving insights into the emotional pull of places in this fascinating collection of poems about the fundamental human need to belong.

This anthology is inspired by the Tristia, a collection of poems written by the Roman poet Ovid after he was banished from Rome by the Emperor for an unknown misdemeanour. Homesickness and Exile expands on Ovid’s themes and considers spiritual as well as physical exile in the modern world.

You can read an extract from the introduction over on our blog.



‘The work contained within the anthology wanders as freely as the many lost and homesick souls that populate its poems.  There are meditations on being a stranger, poems of longing, and songs of celebration taking great joy in the solace of home. […] The book, as one has come to expect from The Emma Press, is a beautiful artefact.  The care and dedication spent in the editorial process, and in the crafting of the poems themselves, is reflected in the elegance of the physical tome and Emma Wright’s unique and enchanting illustrations.  As something of a stateless pirate, this collection reaches out with new connections upon each reading, and I’m increasingly feeling that home is having an Emma Press book in my hands.’ — Steven Nash, Sabotage Reviews

‘This anthology contains poems about wandering, being homesick, being a stranger, a foreigner, yet also moments of belonging, of finding the self and somehow ending up right where you ought to be. The vulnerability of some of these poems are laid bare on the page. They moved me, hit a deep spot in my chest, made me smile, made me think and rethink, and in the end, made me feel connected and strangely at home.’ Durre Shahwar

A charming little blue book with a wistful boat sketching on the front, Homesickness and Exile is filled with longing, hope, history and nostalgia.‘ — Caroline Cook, the Reading Post

This is a lovingly crafted and engaging collection of poetry. The charm and variety of the work means that each page offers an unexpected perspective of the shared theme. Whilst some of the poets are established, with their poetry having been widely published, others are at a far earlier stage in their careers. Regardless, the quality is excellent. This collection is perfect for longstanding lovers of poetry, yet accessible enough to appeal to more curious newcomers to the form.‘ — Booktrust


About the editors

Rachel and EmmaRachel Piercey (pictured, left) is a former editor at The Cadaverine magazine and a current editor at the Emma Press. She studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she won the Newdigate Prize in 2008. Her illustrated pamphlet of love poems, The Flower and the Plough, was published by the Emma Press in 2013 and her second pamphlet, Rivers Wanted, in 2014.

Emma Wright (pictured, right) studied Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford. She worked in ebook production at Orion Publishing Group before leaving to set up the Emma Press in 2012. In 2015 she toured the UK with the Myths and Monsters poetry tour for children, supported with funding from Arts Council England as part of the Lottery-funded Grants for the Arts programme. She lives in Birmingham.


About the poets

Ivy Alvarez is the author of two poetry collections: Disturbance (Seren Books, 2013) and Mortal (Red Morning Press, 2006). A recipient of writing residencies from MacDowell Colony, Hawthornden Castle and Fundación Valparaiso, her work appears in journals and anthologies in many countries, with individual poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Photo © Rachael Duncan.

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her first book, To Live in Autumn (The Backwaters Press, 2014) won the 2013 Backwaters Prize, judged by Lola Haskins. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, and Mslexia, among others. She lives in Dubai with her husband and two daughters.

Alex Bell grew up in Northumberland and Dorset. She now lives and works in London, where she never feels homesick for the countryside. Her work has appeared in Magma, The Rialto and Poetry Wales.

Carole Bromley is a Creative Writing tutor at York University. Recently published in Magma, Poetry Review, Poetry News, The Interpreter’s House, The North and The Rialto, she has two pamphlets and a first collection, A Guided Tour of the Ice House, with Smith/Doorstop. Carole has won a number of first prizes including The Bridport, Yorkshire Open and Bronte Society Literary Prize. She was shortlisted in the 2014 Manchester Writing for Children Prize.

Mary Buchinger is the author of Aerialist (forthcoming with Gold Wake Press in 2015; shortlisted for the May Swenson Poetry Award, OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry and Perugia Press Prize). She received the Varoujan and Houghton Awards from the New England Poetry Club and is Associate Professor of English/Communication Studies, MCPHS University, Boston, Massachusetts. Photo © Tony Majahad.

George David Clark  teaches creative writing at Valparaiso University and his first book, Reveille, won the 2014 Miller Williams Prize. His most recent poems can be found in Alaska Quarterly Review, Antioch Review, The Believer, Blackbird, FIELD, Yale Review and elsewhere. The editor of 32 Poems, he lives in Indiana.

James Coghill has had poems published in places such as Popshot Magazine, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Cadaverine, Lighthouse Literary Journal, Verse Kraken and Orbis. He is currently working on a pamphlet of animal/ecopoems; as such, writing about something more people shaped is a welcome holiday.

Ellie Danak is a poet with a background in researching modern Swedish crime novels and skiing off hills head first. She lives and writes in Edinburgh and divides her time between her notebooks and her toddler son. She blogs at Poetry & Pandemonium.

An Australian who lives in London, Cath Drake has been published in anthologies and literary magazines in UK, Australia and US and performs widely. In 2012, she was short-listed for the Venture Poetry Award, awarded an Arts Council England grant and was writer in residence at the Albany Arts Centre café. Cath’s pamphlet Sleeping with Rivers won the 2013 Mslexia/Seren poetry pamphlet prize and was the Poetry Book Society Summer Choice 2014.

Frank Dullaghan holds an MA with Distinction in Writing (University of South Wales). He co-founded the Essex Poetry Festival, edited Seam Poetry Magazine, and his third poetry collection, The Same Roads Back, is due out in September 2014 with Cinnamon Press. He lives in Dubai and also writes short screen and stage plays.

John Froy lives in Reading where he works as a painter decorator. He has published a collection of poems, Eggshell (Two Rivers Press, 2007), and two volumes of memoir: 70 Waterloo Road (2010) and The Art School Dance (Two Rivers Press, 2013).

Charlotte Higgins was born in Belfast and now lives in Cambridge. A previous winner of Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award (2010, commended) and SLAMbassadors (2011), she has performed in the Royal Festival Hall, at the Proms, and at Nuyorican Poetry Café. She runs Speakeasy, a Cambridge poetry night.

Holly Hopkins lives in London where she is reading an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. Holly won an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and her debut pamphlet, Soon Every House Will Have One, won the 2014 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice.

In 2013, Australian poet Elizabeth Horne won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Australian Science Poetry Prize. She has been published in Australian journals including Meanjin, Famous Reporter, Blue Dog Australian Poetry and the New England Review. She is also a printmaker and children’s writer.

Anja Konig grew up in the German language and now writes in English. Her poetry has appeared in the UK and the US in magazines and anthologies such as Poetry Review, Poetry London, Magma, The Manhattan Review and Cimarron Review. Her first pamphlet, Advice for an Only Child, will be published by Flipped Eye Publishing in 2014.

Eve Lacey is the editor of Furies, an anthology of contemporary women’s poetry published in 2014. She was awarded the David Almond Fellowship in 2012 and longlisted for the Hot Key Young Writers Prize in 2013. Her poetry was published in The Emma Press Anthology of Motherhood in 2014.

Gill Learner’s poetry has been widely published since 2002, most recently in Acumen 78, Mslexia 61 and Poetry News Spring 2014. Gill has also won several awards, including the Hamish Canham Prize 2008 and the Buxton Poetry Competition 2011 & 2012. Her first collection is The Agister’s Experiment (Two Rivers Press, 2011).

Rachel Long is a writer, poet and spoken word artist based in London. She has read at the Olympic stadium and Royal Festival Hall, and has been commissioned by Apples & Snakes, SPOKE and Clayground Collective. Rachel is a proud member of international poetry collective Burn After Reading and she is currently studying an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmith’s University London.

Marissa Mazek is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at Hollins University in Virginia. Her work has appeared in Watershed Review (Spring 2014),  The Rampallian (Winter/Spring 2014), and other publications. She received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s December 2013 Fiction Open, and is an alumna of Barnard College, Columbia University.

John McCullough’s first collection The Frost Fairs (Salt, 2011) won the Polari First Book Prize for 2012.  It was a Book of the Year for both the Independent and The Poetry School, and a summer read for the Observer. He lives in Hove, and teaches creative writing for the Open University.

Cheryl Moskowitz is a US-born, UK-based, prize-winning poet, translator and novelist. Her poems have been published in literary journals including Poetry Review, Magma and Artemis. Her books include a novel, Wyoming Trail (Granta), poems for children, Can it Be About Me (Frances Lincoln), and her poetry collection The Girl is Smiling (Circle Time Press).

Selina Nwulu is a writer and poet, often inspired by global justice, protest and politics. Selina has toured nationally with Apples and Snakes and performed at an EU Environmental Human Rights Conference in Budapest. She has been published in magazines and anthologies, including In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 2013). Her first collection is due to be published by Burning Eye in 2015.

Richard O’Brien’s home is in Lincolnshire, though he has also lived in Oxford, Nantes, France and, currently, Stratford-upon-Avon. His work has appeared in Poetry London, The Best British Poetry 2013, and three pamphlets, including The Emmores (The Emma Press) and A Bloody Mess (Dead Ink/Valley Press), both published in 2014.

Lisa Ortiz’s poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2013, Zyzzyva, The Literary Review, and have been featured on Verse Daily. She wrote ‘Marooned’ while living in Peru, but by the time you read this she has likely returned to her home town of Santa Cruz, California.

Rachel Piercey is an editor at The Cadaverine magazine and The Emma Press. Her illustrated pamphlet of love poems, The Flower and the Plough, was published by The Emma Press in 2013 and a second pamphlet, Rivers Wanted, is forthcoming in October 2014.

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast, where he studies at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Poetry London, The Honest Ulsterman, Poetry Ireland Review, The Ulster Tatler, and as part of the Lifeboat Series of readings based in Belfast. He was the winner of the inaugural FSNI National Poetry Competition and his first pamphlet, Oils, is publishing with The Emma Press in October 2014.

Vili Skarlopoulou is from Athens, Greece but currently lives in London. She studied classical literature in both Athens and London. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including Myths of The Near Future, The Cadaverine magazine and the Young Poets Network.

James Trevelyan grew up in the Midlands and now lives in South London. Having completed an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, his poems have been published in 14 Magazine, Cake, The Cadaverine magazine, and anthologised in Bedford Square 5. He is currently an Administrator at the Poetry Book Society.

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