Klaonica: Poems for Bosnia by Ken Smith
This international anthology has been assembled in a matter of days as an immediate if inadequate response to the suffering in Bosnia. What else is there to say about Bosnia? What more can anyone do? KLAONICA is the poets' attempt to do or say something. It includes poems by many leading writers, some already published in The Independent's series Bosnia Poems. The poems are baffled, helpless, heartfelt, heartbreaking, angry, tender, grieving. Useless too: except that readers should find some comfort, some hope, in this book. And the book is published to raise funds for Bosnian relief. The writers come from Britain, Ireland, Europe, North America and Bosnia. They include Annemarie Austin, Joseph Brodsky, Gillian Clarke, David Constantine, Ivor Cutler, Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig, Gavin Ewart, Roy Fisher, Linda France, Rebecca Hayes, Adrian Henri, Ted Hughes, Nicki Jackowska, Kathleen Jamie, Medbh McGuckian, Ian McMillan, Glyn Maxwell, Christopher Middleton, Czeslaw Milosz, Adrian Mitchell, Andrew Motion, Josip Osti, Ruth Padel, Brian Patten, Patricia Pogson, Peter Porter, Simon Rae, Peter Reading, Tadeusz Rozewicz, Carole Satyamurti, Jo Shapcott, Abdulah Sidran, Ken Smith, Heather Spears, Mario Susko, R.S. Thomas, Stevan Tontic and John Hartley Williams. KLAONICA is the Serbo-Croat word for slaughterhouse, abattoir, butchery, shambles, and describes conditions in that doomed country after over a year of vicious warfare that includes massacre, rape, pillage, ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, the destruction of towns and villages, churches and mosques, and ultimately of a state and a whole society. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this conflict - and there are more wrongs than rights to it - it amounts to genocide, in Europe, here at the end of the twentieth century. The Bosnians are starving. They have planted no crops, they have used up all their stores and savings, they have no fat left, and winter is coming. Over and above the depredations of a three-sided war, they need food and medicines. All proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to Feed the Children and other organisations seeking to alleviate the suffering in Bosnia.