From Here to Timbuktu
Published by Smokestack Books
The fabled city of Timbuktu, once the dazzling capital of the Songhay empire, is now just another impoverished desert town on the tourist trail. From Here to Timbuktu follows the fortunes of a group of tourists as they make their way by 4x4 and pinasse (boat) across the Mali desert. Like Chaucer’s pilgrims, these travellers pass the time bickering, gossiping, flirting and falling out, eventually sharing the stories of their lives with humour and pathos.
Written in Chaucer’s rime royal, From Here to Timbuktu is a book about Third World poverty and First World consumption. It’s a travelogue, a satire, an epic poem, and a four-wheel drive journey across the savannah plain.
Pauline Plummer was born in Liverpool, has taught in Poland and Sierra Leone and currently teaches at Northumbria University. She is an editor of Mudfog Books. She has published five previous collections of poetry, including Romeo’s Café, Palaver, Demon Straightening (Iron Press, 2000), Bamako to Timbuktu (2003) and Bint (Red Squirrel Press, 2011). She was Middlesbrough Poet Laureate in 2000. She has read her poems on BBC Radio 4, Tyne Tees TV and Poetry Ireland, and at the Sage Gateshead, the Troubadour Cafe and many other venues. She lives in North Shields.