I’m thinking of the year 2000
Was it really just 10 years ago?
Before 9/11 and the War on Terror,
Before rendition and Guantanamo.
A new century, a new millennium
Opening in an atmosphere of hope
And just next door to here
In the tome-lined Shakespeare Room
The first meeting of a new writers group
For writers in exile

10 years, 20 performances,
4 books and a CD later
We’re 30 members strong and growing
Vibrant voices from
Angola, Zimbabwe and the USA,
Iran, Jamaica, Uganda, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, South Africa and the UK,
Rwanda, Croatia, Germany and Kurdistan
Speaking in harmony
From our common humanity
Life’s pains and pleasures, loves and losses
Inspiring our poetry as they inspired Shakespeare’s sonnetry.

© Vivian Yates 2010


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