Poets on Borders: Perspectives at Poetry International


Literary magazine Poetry International, based at San Diego State University, promotes a wide range of voices and publishes translations from around the world. The magazine’s blog published a series of conversations with international poets about borders, in response to US President Donald Trump’s order for the construction of a wall between the US and Mexico.

What is a border? What does it mean to live on or cross a border? Can you be a citizen of a border, of language? Here’s a sampling of poets’ responses to these questions.

Kwame Dawes (Ghana)

For most of my life, borders have happened in the pristine mute halls of airports. Uniformed smiling agents decide who I am and where I can go. For decades, the short walk to the kiosk, no matter where in the world I am, is filled with disquiet, anxiety, and sometimes fear.

Roberto Castillo Udiarte (Mexico)


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