We are all from somewhere else
We are All from Somewhere Else is a meditation on migration in all its aspects. The poems, and short prose pieces, put in a wider context one of the defining, most challenging movements of our era. Why do animal species migrate, and why do we? 'Hope, need and escape are names for the same god,' says one of the poems - and the book suggests that migration made the world, and is a natural part of how the world we all inhabit works, from cell migration in our bodies to ideas about the migration of souls.
It is a paperback, and updates an original (2012) hardback edition, then titled The Mara Crossing.
This new title, a line from one of the poems, reminds us that we all inhabit this broken world together. I wrote an introduction and added a poem on Syrian refugees to the Greek island of Lesbos, written as part of an installation with Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj to celebrate and honour Syrian refugees, and the help Lesbos islanders gave them in 2016. I also added more on the many violent changes, including the climate catastrophe, to the picture of human migration since 2012.
‘A prodigy, a book of wonders… sheerly brilliant. Wonder connects with pity and terror, lodged in the searing penultimate section of voices in transit… coercing ‘Compassion – and beyond that, empathy’. - Independent
‘This sweeping and unconventional book about migration calls for compassion. Her poems and essays are a lyrical tribute to the instincts and whims, trials and beauties that catalyse movement.’ - Economist
“A thoughtful, often quite magical mix of prose and poetry… Just as fascinating as Padel’s central theme is the insight that she gives us into poetry” - Independent on Sunday
‘Magnificent poems… a triumph of artistic ingenuity… – Bifurcation – between poetry and prose, human and animal, privilege and under-privilege, and, crucially, art and science – is at the heart of the collection and powers its explorations of journeying. This is a book of raw interfaces and unnerving encounters, not comfortable oppositions of black and white.’ - Guardian
You can read me writing about cell migration - where it all starts - in the scientific journal The Scientist.