Sasha Terfous is the Poet Laureate for Wexford Town, Co Wexford. She grew up in New Ross and has emerged from the South East arts community as an important figure in Ireland’s spoken word community.
“It is with great honour that I accept such a title,” says Sasha. “I hope I can serve my community to the best of my ability and make my county proud. I do not see this as a personal achievement, but rather a joined one, uniting all the little boys and girls with big dreams and even bigger hearts.”
With her knowledge, eloquence and passion, Sasha aims to narrate life’s experiences. In 2019, she took part in the Female Tribes project - the largest global study performed on women to date - and the resulting poem Warrior Women is a strident cultural response to the study’s findings – taking task with the idea that it has never been better to be a woman in Ireland.
Following its release, Sasha was invited to perform at Electric Picnic, Other Voices, All Together Now, with Wooden Elephant on their German performances of Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, for Dublin Fringe Festival’s Like A Riot Grrrl and alongside the RTE Concert Orchestra. 2020 has found her writing with passion on the Black Lives Matter movement, undertaking commissions for the likes of NUI Galway and performing for the online edition of Bloomsday alongside Aidan Gillen, David Norris and Glen Hansard.
Sasha uses her work as a form of activism; her poetry is used a way to draw attention to the voices that should be heard, and issues that need to be addressed. Her latest project is a video interpretation of her poem ‘Identity’, produced in collaboration with Poetry Ireland and the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation in New York.
Sasha presented Wexford’s Town Poem at a special event on 17 September. You can find the full text of her poem below.
The Golden Ones
We exist between the borders of pride and hope, Dancing by the edges of 'back home' and 'out yonder'. We have worked this land, With brass, wood and steel. We have crafted nations, From honour, bone and sweat. We are the chosen. These streets we call home, Have warped their paths around legend. Shaped by the granddads and the ould-lads Warmed by the nanny's, and the ma's. Our bellies are jaundiced with history, Rife with ballads. This land of ours is rich with stories sealed in song. We are the descendants of Folkvanger and Valhalla. Presidents, musicians, distillers and commanders. We are farmers, artists, sailors and news-agents. The backbone. The forgotten people. Left to thrive in secret; Our folk are preserved by monument and park. Our tales do not end at coastline and port, We extend beyond beach and bay. It is where we are going too, It is where we are coming from. It is the white, the black, the brown, the beige. The emerald fields, and silver towns, The skies of blue and crests of purple. The borders of pride and hope, The burgundy of 'back home' The blue and pink of 'out yonder' With brass, wood and steel, From honour, bone and sweat. The forgotten people. The backbone. The chosen. For we are,