How does one get to write poems in a language that is not one’s mother tongue?

These days lots of people tend to travel and live overseas, in places where their mother tongue may not be spoken at all. Consequently we can see creative writing produced quite extensively in a second language now, considerably more so than earlier in modern culture. While Joseph Conrad, a Pole, earned praise for his style in English (besides his greatness otherwise, of course), that still looked like a rather singular case in his time. The American Jonathan Littell, highly successful as a writer in French, is just one of many recent examples that one can think of. As our world becomes increasingly globalized, writing in a different language than that of one’s birth has become more habitual: the English language seems to be the biggest host for such foreign creative voices nowadays.

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