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Stranger in a borrowed land: Lotte Moos and her writing

Authors: David Perman

Published by Rockingham Press

ISBN: 9780956657015

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Co-published with Grendel Publishing.

For many of her 98 years, Lotte Moos was a refugee. She fled Hitler’s Germany in 1933, settled precariously in London but then continued her search for a home in Moscow and the USA. Back in Britain in 1939, she was arrested by MI5, accused of being a Stalinist agent, and locked away in Holloway Prison. Released from there she was then interned on the Isle of Man. When she was completely free, she wrote anti-Nazi stories for a British government newspaper, then plays – one of which was performed at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith – and eventually poetry. She and her husband, the economist Siegi Moos, became members of the Hackney Writers Workshop and in the 1980s Lotte became a star on the radical, anti-Thatcher, poetry scene. She was featured as a ‘feminist’ poet in the 1987 anthology, the new british poetry. She died in 2008.

'If You Think'

If you think
Struck in Ireland
Won’t hurt you
Think again
They will hurt you.

If you think
The knife
Slid between the ribs of a Pakistani
Will glance off your lighter skin
Think again.

If you think
Bullets hissing towards beating hearts
In some country we know nothing about
Will miss you
Think again
They will not miss your beating heart.

 If you think
Jabbed into veins
To make the blood run docile
Won’t prick you
Think again.

They will hurt you, hit you, prick you
And they will not miss you.
We are all one,
One trembling human flesh.

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