Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry Pub Date : 2021-04-23 , DOI: 10.1017/pli.2020.41 John Kerrigan
Tragedies about the suffering of migrants are not a new phenomenon. So this article quickly turns to texts from classical antiquity by Aeschylus and Euripides. It focuses, however, on poetry written over the last decade. Following the routes taken by asylum seekers from Africa and Asia through such transit points as Lampedusa and across Europe to Calais, it looks at depictions of the suffering associated with travel, disaster, and problematic arrival, and at the interaction in tragic writing between old motifs and conventions (tragedy as understood by Aristotle or Hegel) and current issues and resources. Fresh insights are offered into the work of poets from migrant backgrounds (Warsan Shire, Ribkha Sibhatu) and into a range of modes from lyric (James Byrne) through experiments with translation and performance (Caroline Bergvall) into the late modernism of Geraldine Monk, J. H. Prynne, and Jeff Hilson.