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Poems for Sanctuary

Please send your poems (or links to poems and relevant anthologies) to [email protected] for uploading onto this page. If you are a performance poet and wish to use any of the poems here please seek permission from the author.

Groups and Organisations

Facebook group Poets in Solidarity with Refugees

Poems from The Grange  A “Home of Sanctuary” that supports asylum seekers to build resilience

‘The Letter’ – a poem for World Book Day by a former member of the Freedom from Torture ‘Write to Life’ group

Several books have been published with work from the ‘Write to Life’ group and there are also pieces available online in their Library.


There are some examples listed on our Books page
No Friend But The Mountains by Behrouz Boochani won two awards at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia in 2019. The collection of poems was sent one poem at a time by Whatsapp from a detention centre on Manus Island over the course of five years. There’s more about it in this Guardian article. 

Refugee Blues by W. H. Auden

Home by Warsan Shire

Refugee by Brian Bilston

Make it Happen by Md who is seeking sanctuary in the North East writes about his dreams for compassion and equality. 

Blue Folder by Lily Silverman

Race by Anna Cheetham 

I am Human – Malka Al-Haddad 

application/pdf icon“I Feel Like Nobody Here” – Maxson Sahr Kpakioi



Leaving: Reflections in poetry on the refugee crisis

An anthology of poems written by year 4 and 5 pupils from Greystone Community Primary School in Ripon and shared at Ripon Poetry Festival and ‘Sanctuary in Parliament’ 2017.

Available to download here

Birds Without Sky by Malka Al-Haddad (2018)

A collection of poems about the refugee experience, with beautiful illustrations.

Long-listed for the Leicester Book Prize 2018.

Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015) 

This anthology challenges the ‘othering’ and dehumanisation that has been prevalent in how some British politicians and media outlets have been reporting on the refugee crisis in Europe. And it presents this challenge without preaching.
The anthology brings together emerging and established voices from all over the world and presents 101 quality poems that speak to each other and which speak to the issues.
For more information and to buy  the anthology click here
See also, this article by publisher and literary activist, Ross Bradshaw on how, through the anthology, poets in the East Midlands and beyond are responding to the refugee crisis in Europe.
Proceeds from the sale of the anthology are going to Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Leicester City of Sanctuary and the Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum who are all supporting people who are looking for refuge.

Hafan Books Anthologies

Hafan Books has published a number of anthologies of writing by and for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. includes great poetry, gripping stories and thought-provoking essays by writers from more than 30 countries who have donated their work (proceeds go to local charities for people seeking sanctuary). Available online from Hafan Books