I met Soreti Kedir at the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) annual conference at Howard University in Washington DC. We were both there to speak at the conference. She flew from Australia to attend the meeting. Soreti is a kind of person you remember meeting twice. First when you actually meet her and second when you meet her after you hear her spoken word. That is truly what happened to me. I was very much moved and touched by her poems. She is simply a word flowing in beautiful order. Her simple yet bone piercing words force one to look deep inside.

After the conference we kept in touch and one day she asked me if I am interested to design the cover of her book. I was very happy to work on it and then she send me the poems. Honestly, this small short book have an impact on me right away. It was beautifully written and it’s title was “Siyaanne” the name her late grandmother gave her meaning “we miss You” in her native language of Affan Oromo.

I mean who writes like this:

The politics of my poetry

The politics of my poetry are complicated,
rooted in the roots of a ground that I know little of,
birthed by a womb that cried for far too long,
standing on mountains that I am yet to climb.

The politics of my poetry are tired,
weary from always waging war with my words,
I began writing with swords long before I picked up a pen,
I was taught to begin fighting the storm long before it would rain.

The politics of my poetry are invisible,
blurred by lines drawn to hide me from the world

Excerpts from the book

I received my copy yesterday and I am in a Siyanne state of mind! Galatoomii