Angry at a former boss for threatening to cut the workers’ pay, Bangladeshi construction worker Md Mukul Hossine started scribbling poetry on the bags of cement he was carrying in 2014.
His poems can now be read on paper instead of cement bags after the 25-year-old became the first foreign worker to have a poetry collection brought out by local publisher Ethos Books.
“For a long time, I have lived in another country. Hard work made me forget my feelings. It was a way to remember my family, my friends,” he said.
In one poem, he rages against unfair bosses, writing: “I want to stand against them… I want to be king of the poor.” In another, he yearns for his mother, evoking the “unending solitude” of the “stranded immigrant”.
Mr Mukul, who hails from the village of Panbari in Bangladesh, has been writing poetry since the age of 12 and has two books published in his home country.