Significance of a Dress

Emma Lee

Arachne Press

B format Paperback


ISBN: 9781909208834


Publication date: 27 February 2020



surface. Beautiful, hair-raising words and form, utterly from the heart. Even if home is makeshift and her carriage is a borrowed/ pair of shoes that dance over gravel baked in the desert heat,/ a bride still wants to feel special, at least for one day./ No one can afford to buy when twenty neighbours share/ a latrine and there’s a constant vigil against disease./ Tulin, named after a daughter, offers gown hire, make-up/ and hairstyling that will withstand humid evenings./ ‘I don’t ask how old they are,’ says the beautician. A mural/ outside shows a girl in a white gown holding a teddy bear./ The future is tomorrow. Next year is a question./ A wedding is a party, a welcome, a sign of hope./ The dresses sparkle with sun-reflected diamanté/ but the gravel paths of the camp leave the hems stained.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee was born in South Gloucestershire and now lives in Leicestershire. Her poems, short stories and articles have appeared in many anthologies and magazines in the UK and Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and USA. Emma has read poems for BBC Radio and EAVA FM and joined panels organised by the University of Leicester’s Sociology, Communications and Media department to talk about artistic responses to the refugee crisis arising from her co-editing of “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” and curation of Journeys in Translation. Emma’s poems have been translated into Chinese, Farsi, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Romanian. She is on the committee of Leicester Writers’ Club and the steering group for the Leicester Writers’ Showcase and has experience in organising poetry readings and live literature events. She has given workshops for Leicester Writers’ Club, Leicester Poetry Society and the Local Writers’ Fair.