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Expat writer’s poetry on Ukraine conflict proves popular

Added: (Sat Feb 25 2023)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has become the unlikely focus for a Belgium-based poet and EU commentator.
After retiring from his job with the European Union, London-born Stephen Gospage has remained living south of Brussels.
He has previously published short stories and anthologies on many EU issues, particularly the fallout from Brexit.
But since Putin’s forces first crossed into Ukraine in the February of 2022, his writer’s gaze has been firmly on the war.
The Shape of Ukraine has already reached the top three in Amazon’s poetry charts, and earned five-star reviews from readers.
Stephen, who made several visits to Kyiv during the 1990s, said: “War stirs up different and terrible emotions.
“Soldiers and civilians are killed, towns and cities destroyed, and many people are forced to flee.
“I started writing poems about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of the conflict.
“Regretfully, in some ways, I continue to write poetry which attempts to reflect the concerns and contradictions of what is going on.”
Stephen has previously contributed to the Poems for Ukraine anthology.
And the 69-year-old, who has lived in Belguim for more than four decades, regularly has his work published on the Write Out Loud poetry blog.
The Shape of Ukraine features 40 of his poems from Musee des Beaux-Arts, March 2022 all the way through to Refugee, which was written in November.
Stephen added: “The poems in this collection cover all aspects of the war, from the trauma suffered by soldiers and civilians to the plight of the millions of refugees, as well as the propaganda and crass misinformation.
“Throughout I reflect on the pity of war and the tragic waste of life and destruction this pointless invasion has led to.
“In some respects I find it unfortunate that democratic countries in the West are having to send lethal weapons to help perpetuate the carnage.
“However, first and foremost, I respect Ukraine’s right to defend itself and salute the bravery of its people – particularly the civilians who have often undergone unimaginable suffering.”
Stephen, who lists TS Eliot, Muriel Spark and PD James among his influences, has previously published poetry anthologies, Shape of Trees, Bedside Trees, and Last Night Through the Window, as well as a short story collection, The Gunman and the Clown.
His thoughts and insights into the EU referendum, The Brexit Queue: A Nightmare, also earned rave reviews.
For more details, visit Amazon and search for Stephen Gospage where the paperback and Kindle formats of The Shape of Ukraine are both available.
Notes to the editor
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Submitted by:David Morrison
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