For almost two years, the world has been confronted with the unprecedented. Many are trying to cope with loss, illness and isolation. Others are experiencing long-term separations, as borders are still closed in many countries. The backlash is manifold, and the end is not in view.
Humans can develop extraordinary capacities to face crises and adapt to new situations. They have shown it throughout the history of mankind, and we are no different from our forebears. Like them, we have also been searching for ways to accept the unacceptable, as our lives are durably changing. One example of this might be the renewed importance words have taken for many of us. Memories of past reunions or trips we took have become even more precious as we do not know when we will meet or travel again. Favorite songs and melodies will haunt us for days and so do these reminiscences of what seems to be gone. They haunt us with secret words we keep uttering to ourselves as we recall and try to draw energy from past happiness. Many of us will also write to each other more than they did in the recent past and we treasure the words we receive. For hours, we enjoy their echoes in our solitary minds.
Bookshops in France have also noticed that more people are showing interest for books. Is this a means of forgetting the circumstances or a longing to reflect and try to understand our human condition? Whatever the answer, we cannot but rejoice that there should be more book-readers than in recent years.
And we, Mana editors, believe poems have their place more than ever before, just as non-fiction to carry the words for questionings and anger with issues left unaddressed and ignored for too long. We did our best to erase distances and bring together different voices from different countries. We decided to publish them also in their original languages. By crossing different rhythms and music, different themes, and perspectives we hope to make these poets and writers heard beyond borders, beyond all the disruptions on our planet. It is our belief that the beauty of language can prevail and that the power of the written word to question, call in doubt and denounce is still there among us, as alive as ever.