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For several years, Nicholls worked as a volunteer writing mentor for members of the Write to Life group at Freedom from Torture. She tried to help people to find meaning from the seemingly meaningless acts of brutality and persecution they had experienced and to remake the stories of their lives.
This experience opened the eyes and the heart and Nicholls here finds a way of paying homage to the courage of the people she met and the incredible stories people shared with her. The 'Refugee' poems attempt to draw attention to the stories that we simply cannot ignore, stories that are crucial to us as a society.
There are poems here too in which Nicholls explores her own connections with home – with Yorkshire, where she is from, with language and place. Her poems mark a way of finding home and making meaning.
‘The concentration in Sophie Nicholls's poems is a form of cherishing. The poems themselves may be small, but they have the sort of breadth that matters, whether celebrating fortitude or attending to human frailty.’ —Christopher Reid