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'Increasingly influential.'—The Sydney Morning Herald

'Increasingly influential.'—The Sydney Morning Herald



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Our Featured Writer


Mohammad Ali Maleki

Mohammad Ali Maleki is an Iranian poet and avid gardener who has been living in detention on Manus Island for five years. His poetry is written in Farsi and 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 New Shoots Poetry Prize 2016 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. An essay about his writing is forthcoming in the Extreme Texts Issue of Jacket2 magazine. 

Mohammad's chapbook, Truth in the Cage, is available for purchase in ebook and print from our online shop. All proceeds go directly to Mohammad.






Brother

'Brother', a video poem written by Mohammad Ali Maleki and directed by Siân Darling is dedicated to Hamed Shamshiripour, who died by hanging on Manus Island in 2017. 

You can read more of Mohammad Ali Maleki’s poetry online at Verity La, and view more of Siân Darling’s films on Vimeo.


You can find my whole life in my poems, like a letter to God.

Written from within Manus Island’s detention centre, translated by fellow Manus Island detainee Mansour Shoshtari, and edited by Verity La Managing Editor Michele Seminara, Truth in the Cage is a powerful work of personal and political poetry.

'Truth in the Cage delivers truths, uncomfortable and often torturous, through a painterly language, providing much-needed clarity in these times of obfuscation and systematic silencing.' –Janet Galbraith, Writing Through Fences

You can read Janet Galbraith's review of Truth in the Cage here


Buy Mohammad's Book

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