Wordview 2022: The Good Immigrant

The good immigrant is a rare find. Ideally he does not exist because man, by default, is troubled. But trouble comes in variety. The good immigrant is better than their peers in the place formerly called home; home, by the very nature of migration, becomes a state of mind or wherever there is good Wi-Fi. The good immigrant cavorts on social media performing enthusiasm to counter the emptiness of their room, their lacklustre life. The good immigrant keeps up appearances, airbrushes selfies with full bodied smiles & fancy clothes because living abroad requires an acute sense of external well-being. Never mind that their inner life is a litany of cautions. Rented attic room, cold like a morgue, no two coins to jangle. Power cut may require sitting on the TV to watch the threadbare couch. This is not advertised in the brochure of self-determination. The good immigrant stripped their privileges at the boarding bay back in the place formerly called home because privileges don’t travel well. The good immigrant wears a coat of stoicism & an optimism for a conquest that begins with a residence permit & a promise of good behaviour. 

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2022. Used by permission of author.

Wordview 2022 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Dami Ajayi

Dami Ajayi was born and raised in Nigeria,. His latest poetry collection is Affection & Other Accidents.

Glossary

A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.

Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.

Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.

Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."

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