September 2020



Reaching Mithymna

Steven Heighton

In 2015, Steven Heighton, the Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet of The Waking Comes Late, volunteered on the frontlines of the Syrian refugee crisis, on the isle of Lesvos in Greece. Heighton worked on the landing beaches and in a camp providing meals, clothes, and rest to refugees after their crossing from Turkey. Heighton—alongside locals and under-equipped aid workers—found himself in emergency roles for which he was woefully unqualified. This is an account of the crisis and an exploration of the borders that divide us and the ties that bind.