04.07.2017 Poets in Juba

By John Ryle  •  London  •  4 July 2017  •  400 words

An item in the Times Literary Supplement of 23 June, apropos a poetry anthology called Capitals, states that Juba, the capital of South Sudan, was founded in the 1920s by Greek traders. This isn't the case, though. The Bari, one of the main ethnic groups in South Sudan, are the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Juba is located and established a settlement of this name much earlier. [caption id="attachment_2986" align="alignleft" width="351"] Taban lo liyong[/caption] The editor of the anthology makes a further misleading assertion: Juba, he says, is a city without poets. (Can there be such a thing? A city without poets?) Times are hard in Juba now and many things are lacking, but it's safe to say that there is no lack of poets. I made these points and others in a letter published in the TLS the following week, reproduced below.     Sir, – Abhay K’s comments on the history … more»