A City Waking Up
'A City Waking Up' by Sue Wallace-Shaddad
Paperback, 14.8 x 21cm, 44 pages
Sue Wallace-Shaddad lives in Suffolk following an international career with the British Council. She has just completed the Newcastle University/Poetry School London MA in Writing Poetry. She has poems published by London Grip, Ink Sweat and Tears, Brittle Star and Dempsey and Windle. Sue is Secretary of Suffolk Poetry Society. https://suewallaceshaddad.wordpress.com/
Sue Wallace-Shaddad has been visiting Khartoum, Sudan since the 1970’s. The language, customs and slower rhythms of this city and country have been a constant refrain in her life. In 'A City Waking Up', she evokes memories of encounters, the sun’s heat, vibrant colours and the taste of local dishes. She shares day-to-day details of family life but also captures the tumult in the city as it struggles for political change.
Tamar Yoseloff comments on 'A City Waking Up':
Sue Wallace-Shaddad’s Sudan is a country of beauty, dust, jewel-bright colour, age-old tradition and bitter conflict. From a roadside fruit stall with ‘mangoes gold in the sun’, to a lavish wedding banquet where ‘oud and zither music fills the air’, to the painful 2019 uprising in Khartoum where protestors ‘gathered for weeks / in stifling heat’, Wallace-Shaddad guides us through the land with great generosity and love.'
'A City Waking Up' reviewed in The Alchemy Spoon' (The Metal Issue) in December 2020
Extracts from Brian Docherty's review in 'London Grip':
"Hospitality, rituals, ceremonies and eating together, are portrayed as essential parts of Sudanese life, which makes all the more shocking the political violence that erupts in the book’s closing poems.
For this reader, the seven poems from ‘Toub’ to ‘Departures, Khartoum Airport’ form the centre of this collection. ..
...The mood of the book towards the close changes, we move away from the colourful clothing and food, the hospitality and shared events, to ‘Haboob, subtitled ‘Dust storm’, ...
It is at this point, as mentioned earlier, that the book introduces the reader to recent political events in Khartoum...
‘On the Outside’ is the story of a man arrested and locked up in ‘basic conditions’, but released and free. ‘River of Protest’ is a positive portrayal of of a mass demonstration where
Phones wave in the air, their torches
gleaming like newly woken fireflies
in a noisy mingling of sound and light."
Read the full review here: https://londongrip.co.uk/2020/11/london-grip-poetry-review-sue-wallace-shaddad/