BBC’s The Odyssey Project

Posted: 20th April 2017

‘My Name is Nobody’

One of the most famous journeys of all time was that of Odysseus, the Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, the tale of Odysseus’ epic, ten year journey home after the Trojan War.

As a response to ‘The Odyssey’, Europe’s second oldest poem, the BBC has commissioned a series of new radio poems from ‘writers from various diasporas’ for its series, ‘The Odyssey Project: My Name is Nobody’.  One of the contributors is award-winning poet and Augustinian parent, Ms Mona Arshi.  Ms Arshi’s poem was aired on Wednesday 19th April on Radio 4 and is available to listen to for the next month on iplayer. She writes that this article ‘turned into quite a personal reflection on journey, poems, meditation and a little drama…’

To listen to Ms Arshi’s poem, please go to

BBC’s website says:

‘Odysseus, the Patron Saint of Foreigners?

Mona Arshi, who was a human rights lawyer before following her vocation as a poet, takes us through her own parent’s journey from Northern India to Britain in the 1960s. Her piece is partly the poetic narrative of first her father’s journey, and then her mother’s, who followed later. It is, too, a meditative essay on what arrival and settlement means. How do we create home, and what happens to that which we have left? Arrival can be signalled by an event as much as a journey’s end – her father in a queue of recently landed Sikhs outside the barbers, waiting to have their long hair cut for the first time because, now they’re in the West, they will no longer wear their turbans.

The actor Vincent Ebrahim tells Mona Arshi’s father’s story. Her mother tells her own which, as she follows her husband, is the opposite of Penelope’s, the wife of Odysseus. And there is poetry in English and Punjabi, about the next generation, rooted and growing here.’

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