Skip to main content
On This Earth We Have No Abiding Home by Laura Jane Lee
Wasafiri is proud to publish the 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize shortlisted pieces. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by promising new writers from all over the globe. This shortlisted poem by Laura Jane Lee depicts the complicated emotions of leaving home.
New Writing PrizePoetry
She and I by Madeleine Ballard
Wasafiri is proud to publish the 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize shortlisted pieces. These poems, essays, and short stories detail a range of emotions and experiences, produced by promising new writers from all over the globe. In this life writing piece, Madeleine Ballard portrays the tenderness and the careful navigation of a mother daughter relationship.
Life Writing
Ripening by Dushi Rasiah
This intimate fictional piece by Dushi Rasiah depicts the narrator's uncertainties, family secrets, and her own sense of identity culminating in a shared moment of compromise. 
Fiction
Exclusive Extract: The Prison As a Text by Layan Kayed, translated by Roba AlSalibi
Originally published in Wasafiri 118: Abolitions — Writing Against Abandonment, this piece of life writing, translated by Roba AlSalibi, powerfully deconstructs the themes of humanisation, freedom of Palestinian prisoners and people, and the abolition of prisons altogether.
ArticlesExtract
Exclusive Poem: Bastimentos by Amara Amaryah
Wasafiri is pleased to share this poem by Amara Amaryah, whose work was published in our spring issue Wasafiri 117: The State of the Industry. The hurtling sentences build up a kaleidoscope of images about the places we ‘strand ourselves’ in and make our own.
Stupid Vegetarian Chicken by Eve Newstead
In this short story, Eve Newstead intertwines themes of family, care, love, childhood, self harm, and body image to capture a tender moment.
FictionNew Writing Prize
Placing Poetry at the Centre by Meena Kandasamy
In this rallying piece Meena Kandasamy – Poetry judge for the 2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize – traces her own journey as a writer, and sheds light on the importance of authenticity in poetry. She also talks about the types of poems that inspire her and what she is looking for in this year’s submissions.
New Writing PrizeEssay
Sing Up The Ruins by Jess Thayil
This poem by Jess Thayil explores one’s personal relationship to places — physical or metaphorical.
PoetryNew Writing Prize
Letter from Kingston by Annie Paul
Annie Paul’s ‘Letter from Kingston’, published in our latest spring issue, Wasafiri 117: The State of the Industry, compares the global recognition of Jamaican writers and visual artists, highlighting the disparity in their success and the debates surrounding Jamaican writers and artists who choose to remain in the Caribbean versus those who emigrate, focusing on the complexities and nuances of this decision.
EssayExtract
Wasafiri Wonders: Karthik Shankar
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri  Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you. For this instalment, we spoke to the 2023 Wasafiri Essay Prize winner, Karthik Shankar, on his favourite reads, writing habits, and upcoming work.
In Defence of Reading as a Public Good by Isabel Waidner
In this inspiring piece, Fiction Judge for the 2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize Isabel Waidner traces their own reading and writing career and explores the importance of libraries for working class writers in developing their craft.  
EssayNew Writing Prize
Listed for Sale by Kayte Ferris
This life writing piece by Kayte Ferris explores past relationships and the impact of life choices through a series of items 'listed for sale'.
New Writing PrizeLife Writing
In Conversation with Margo Jefferson
In this wide-ranging and generous interview with Franklin Nelson – originally published in Wasafiri 117: The State of the Industry – Margo Jefferson discusses the critic at work and play. Read and download the interview in full on the Taylor & Francis website or order our Wasafiri 117 to read it in print.
InterviewsExtract
Sylheti for Beginners, as Explained by Your White Girlfriend by Erin Brady
This poem by Erin Brady explores the complexities of identity, language, and family dynamics through poignant vignettes.
New Writing PrizePoetry
Exclusive Extract: Amma by Saraid de Silva
Wasafiri is proud to publish this exclusive extract of Amma by Saraid de Silva (Weatherglass Books, 4 April 2024), a gripping novel exploring family trauma, post-colonial displacement, and queerness.
ExtractFiction
Feedback & Complaints by Jen Calleja
Jen Calleja's satirical and razor-sharp lead feature, 'Custard Pies', published in our latest spring issue, Wasafiri 117: The State of the Industry, and featuring five pastel-coloured pies ('one for each heckle I've received at a panel discussion about literary translation'), dwells on the fallacies of an 'ideal translator' — including notions of fidelity, mentorship, and who has the right to translate. This short essay, similarly and characteristically spiky and acerbic, questions preconceived notions around the translator's role and work from a personal perspective.
Essay
The Acre by Shere Ross
In this short story, themes of loss, marriage dynamics, and community gossip intertwine, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of human connection and resilience.
FictionNew Writing Prize
Dad Died by Nneoma Kenure
Nneoma Kenure’s life writing piece, both humourous and touching, reflects on the author's complex relationship with her father and his looming death.
New Writing PrizeFiction
Ariel (Little Mami Wata) by Princess Arinola Adegbite
In this poem, Princess Arinola Adegbite uses aquatic imagery to dip into questions of dual identity and the struggle for authenticity.
PoetryNew Writing Prize
Exclusive Extract: Life in the UK by SJ Kim
This reflection on 'Life in the UK' by SJ Kim explores the profound through seemingly mundane moments, such as a family meal or meeting with an editor. Read this life writing piece from Wasafiri 117:
Essay
Photo Essay: Changing Tides, Staying Grounded by Ilya Katrinnada and Jefree Salim
Joanne Leow, co-guest editor of our winter special issue, Wasafiri 116: Shorelines: South East Asia and the Littoral, with Nazry Bahrawi and Y-Dang Troeung, introduces this online-exclusive photo essay: ‘Curating art, literature, and scholarship about the littoral zones of Southeast Asia has been unavoidably political. This photo essay by Ilya Katrinnada and Jefree Salim offers a glimpse into Orang Seletar’s indigenous lifeworlds in the straits between Malaysia and Singapore. While Katrinnada provides much needed history and context to the photographs, Jefree’s work goes well beyond ethnography, as his interview with co-guest-editor Nazry Bahrawi suggests. Indigenous storytelling through his images allows for the voices of the Orang Seletar to be heard on their terms,’ she writes.
Essay
Shorelines Poets Showcase
Explore these shifting, evocative poems from three poets featured in Wasafiri 116: Shorelines: Southeast Asia and the Littoral.
Poetry
From Our Waters by Nuraliah Norasid
Read an exclusive extract from this atmospheric, immersive, and haunting short story, which was first published in Wasafiri 116: Shorelines: South East Asia and the Littoral, our winter special issue co-guest edited by Nazry Bahrawi, Joanne Leow, and Y-Dang Troeung.
Fiction
Exclusive Extract: Landbridge by Y-Dang Troeung
Y-Dang’s work, connections, and beliefs have profoundly shaped this special issue. To mark the arrival of Wasafiri 116, we're privileged to share this timely extract from her memoir, Landbridge, which draws attention to the US bombings of (neutral) Cambodia, following Henry Kissinger’s recent death.
Subscribe Basket