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Songs We Learn from Trees: Virtual Launch Tour

Thursday, 4 Jun 2020

Alemtshay Wodajo We're delighted to announce news of our virtual launch tour for Chris Beckett and Alemu Tebeje’s Songs We Learn from Trees: An Anthology of Ethiopian Amharic Poetry - the first ever anthology of Ahamaric poetry in English. Pictured here is contributor Alemtshay Wodajo.

You can listen to Chris and Alemu on BBC Radio 4's Front Row here, which aired on Wednesday 3rd June, discussing the book.

The video tour will commence Monday 8th June. We will release videos over the week, made by the editors and contributors, discussing and reading from the book, on the Carcanet Press YouTube channel.You can also check back in on this page to find links to each video once they are published.

We’ll also be sharing the videos across social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – with the hashtag #songsfromtrees. Please do share the videos and get involved with the conversation in the comments.

To mark publication, we are offering 25% off the book via the Carcanet website, with the code ETHIOPIA25 – all caps. Visit this page to buy the book, and enter the code during the checkout process. The code wil expire on June 14th 2020.

Please follow the links to watch the videos on YouTube.


Monday 8th June: Meet the Editors: Chris Beckett & Alemu Tebeje


Meet the Contributor: Misrak Terefe

Tuesday 9th June: Meet the Contributor: Alemtshay Wodajo

Wednesday 10th June: Meet the Contributor: Makonnen Wodajeneh

Thursday 11th June: Meet the Contributor: Zewdu Milikit

Friday 12th June: Meet the Contributor: Alemu Tebeje

Saturday 13th June: Meet the Contributor: Lemn Sissay

Cover of Songs We Learn from Trees This is the very first anthology of Ethiopian poetry in English, packed with all the energy, wit and heartache of a beautiful country and language. From folk and religious poems, warrior boasts, praises of women and kings and modern plumbing; through a flowering of literary poets in the twentieth century; right up to thirty of the most exciting contemporary Amharic poets working both inside and outside the country.

These poems ask what it means to be Ethiopian today, part of a young fast-growing economy, heirs to the one African state which was never colonised, but beset by deep political, ethnic and moral problems.




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