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Love and Loss

A Collection of Poems by the Gaza Poets Society

Foreword by Marc Woodward

Artwork by Rachel Gadsden

Available through gazapoetssociety@gmail.com

28 pages, £ 7.50, all proceeds go to the Gaza Poets Society

“Poetry is an act of peace.” Pablo Neruda

Love and Loss, the first anthology of the Gaza Poets Society, allows the powerful words and experiences of Gaza’s poets to reach a wider audience and to help build momentum towards the creation of more live events, international connections, and additional publications. Internationally celebrated artist Rachel Gadsden has kindly donated her artwork to grace the cover and illustrate the anthology, and her vibrant, poignant images add significantly to the anthology’s appeal.

Award-winning UK poet Marc Woodward describes the collection in his foreword: “This anthology brings us the urgent young voices of Gaza and the music of broken hearts that still sing.” The humanity and reality of a populace in the grip of suppression is shown in small details, such as an arm extended from a car window to feel the rain, “Letting each lovely drop sing and tap on my hand,” while the radio plays Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Or in a young child standing at a traffic light and trying to sell two individual sticks of gum. As Mohammed Moussa writes, “We’re fed up with concealment, with passivity like anesthesia.”

Mohammed Moussa’s single-minded vision of creating a community of poets and spoken-word performers led him to found the Gaza Poets Society. A writer himself, he recognized the sense of isolation that can come from living in Gaza: “The young people of Gaza have been disconnected from the outside world for decades. We seldom get scholarships or permits to participate in external multicultural programs, and there are no tourists here. There are tens of thousands of us in Gaza City alone, locked away and forgotten, just dreaming of a chance to connect.”

The success of the Gaza Poets Society stems from the fact that it has been able to do exactly that: make connections not only within Gaza but also beyond borders and right across the world. Orders for the Love and Loss anthology have already come in from Thailand, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Gaza Poets Society now hosts monthly spoken-word events in Gaza, produces spoken-word videos, holds weekly meetings for the society’s writers, communicates with local institutions, holds workshops, and hosts local and international posts and Skype meetings to discuss their works with universities and poetry societies. The Gaza Poets Society aims to build local involvement whilst also reaching a wider audience, developing connections with other writers and educational communities not only to inspire and grow poets in Gaza but also to make an impact on the poets and audiences they interact with.

The Love and Loss anthology is your chance to sample their work and to look forward to the moment when, in the words of Mohammed Moussa, “We’ll announce the rebirth of love in Gaza.”

Oxford University’s Queen’s College is hosting a benefit night with readings from the anthology on January 26, 2019.

Love and Loss can be purchased only by writing to gazapoetssociety@gmail.com. For more information about the Gaza Poets Society and its ongoing fundraiser, please search for its Facebook page.

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