For every festival we commission a poem from one of the writers scheduled to appear. In the past the poems have been written by Michael Longley, Simon Armitage and Leontia Flynn. As well as helping to financially support and artistically invest in the poets, the commissions also give us a chance to publish the poems as postcards and highlight them on the website.
This year we have asked Rebecca Goss for a poem and are very pleased to present 'Crossing' here for the first time read by Rebecca.
'My commission was to write around the festival's themes of migration, travelling, pilgrimage. I knew, early on, that I wanted to write about the movement of children in vulnerable situations. I watched the short film 'ASMAT' by the Ethiopian film director Dagmawi Yimer, made in response to the Lampedusa migrant disaster in 2013. The film was beautiful and respectful, an attempt to claim the names of all the victims lost to the sea. I went on to read a conversation Yimer had with fellow filmmaker, Gabriele Del Grande. The exchange between the two men was so open and moving, both of them unafraid to question and interrogate, it inspired my poem.'
Crossing was commissioned by Winchester Poetry Festival. Copyright Rebecca Goss 2020
Image: detail from 'Font' reproduced by kind permission of Alex Hoare