English PEN launches a print-on-demand version of Enoh Meyomesse’s poetry collection, Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison, to help raise much-needed funds for the imprisoned activist and poet
Cameroonian activist and poet Enoh Meyomesse’s most recent appeal hearing, scheduled for 16 January, was postponed. This is the seventh time that this has happened since his case was first referred to a civil court for appeal in April 2013. The next hearing has now been rescheduled for 20 February.
Arrested in November 2011, Enoh Meyomesse was detained for over a year before being sentenced to seven years in prison for supposed complicity in the theft and illegal sale of gold. These ongoing delays mean that Meyomesse has now been behind bars for more than two years on what are widely believed to be trumped-up charges. As a result of the numerous postponements and additional months in prison, funds to cover Meyomesse’s legal fees and daily needs – including food, medicine, family visits, and writing materials – are now dwindling.
In late 2013, English PEN launched a crowd-sourced translation of the volume of poetry Meyomesse has written in prison, in order to raise funds for him and his family, and greater awareness of his case. We’re pleased to announce that the full collection Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison is now available to print-on-demand. As with the ebook version, all proceeds will be used to support Enoh Meyomesse and our ongoing work on behalf of writers at risk around the world.
I am a supporter of the extremely valuable work that English PEN does to support writers at risk and keep them in the public eye. It’s both an inspiring and an important organisation and I was truly thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved in a small way with their work when they asked for translators of Enoh Meyomesse’s work. I didn’t know anything of his poetry but was moved by its extreme rawness, his words a savage cry into the void, tempered by a profound spiritual hope.
Natasha Lehrer, translator, Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison