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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Humanitarian worker and journalist Matt Broomfield's debut poetry collection just gone to print!

What a pleasure to get 'brave little sternums' by Matt Broomfield off to print today, with our FSC certified and carbon neutral printer. Due for release on July 8th, Broomfield will launch the collection at Greenhouse Books, Cheadle, the vegan cafe and bookshop on Saturday July 2nd at 5pm. Join us here.

Advance praise for brave little sternums:

“In these poems there is a human cry that is deeper than war or friendship alone. Broomfield has a precise pen, delicate emotions, and a deep love of people. He refuses to accept war, the occupation of nature, looting or destruction. As one enters into these poems, one sees a search for what is precious, the growth of nations, a desire for happiness, peace, equality and a world for everyone. These poems were written during Broomfield’s time in our country, where he decorated each moment with golden words. Each poem expresses a different moment in the revolution, each word returns to comradeship, and this book will be a gift to history. Broomfield’s pen is precious. His feelings even more so.”

- Nergiz Ismail, poet from Rojava

“Like the Rojavan revolution he describes, Broomfield’s poems are alive and writhing, unsparing in self-analysis and honest about the complex realities of translating theory into governance. It’s clear that these poems were written on the ground, in community and conversation, and their reflection of that experience has given this reader a richer, more human understanding than any academic theorizing or factual reportage. ‘brave little sternums’ is not just literature about Rojava, it’s an essential contribution to the literature of Rojava, equally conversant with contemporary English and Kurmanji-language poetry.”

- David Shook, poet and Kurdish translator

“Hard words about a terrible injustice: the continued oppression of the people of Rojava.”
- Attila the Stockbroker, poet

“A series of lenses into a bruised world—where the land itself is sometimes fertilized with the teeth of the dead. The voice here is raw and unvarnished, with a shot of adrenaline burning on the tongue. You’ll find that beneath the cynic’s hard gaze is a deep and abiding love, one that arrives from the interior of history, one that speaks passionately about fundamental issues of justice and human dignity in verses so restless and disturbed the page can barely contain them.”

- Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet

Sample from the opening author’s note:

Readers who are not familiar with recent developments in Syria, Kurdistan and the Middle East may find useful the following brief summary of events in the region. Additionally, a glossary explaining terms, locations and references that may be unfamiliar follows the collection, along with a number of textual notes.

I believe, with Brecht, that introducing the reader to some specifics of a story (or poem) ahead of time will not limit their understanding to a particular interpretation; on the contrary, it will enable them to see and understand the material conditions which gave rise to a particular story, and thus to understand both these particularities, and how the content might be relevant to their own place and time.

As Brecht says: “Only the lessons of reality can teach us to transform reality.”

This is a partisan history. In other words, it is a story.

Below - Matt Broomfield working at Rojava Information Centre

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