The TAXI Project


Emma Beltran, Martha Kuwee Kumsa, Sheng Xue, Goran Simic, with Erica Kopyto and Weyni Mengesha

About the book

Based on the lives and writings of four members of PEN Canada’s writers in-exile program, The TAXI Project provides a glimpse into what it means to be forced to leave your homeland to start your life anew. After years of incarceration by the Red Terror in Ethiopia, Seeyyee Seera struggles to become a mother to her children again. Alejandra Pineda remains haunted by memories of torture at the hands of the Mexican authorities for her role in a student uprising. Xiao Hong, amongst the protesters at the Tiananmen Square uprising in China, cannot return to see her dying mother. And finally, Exyou Peric—a Bosnian photo journalist who drives a taxi, the interior covered in Polaroid photos of of his passengers. We follow the characters on their journeys: attempting to be heard by a society that doesn’t speak their language, searching for employment, surviving the loneliness of a harsh Toronto winter, and struggling to find the energy necessary to keep on writing.

“There’s so much emotion crammed into The TAXI Project— quiet emotion, it’s true, but the kind that lingers long after the lights come up—that you’ll walk out of the hour-long show feeling like one of the stuffed suitcases carried by the four characters.”
NOW Magazine

About the authors

Emma Beltran is a poet. She was kidnapped and tortured by the Mexican National Army for her part in the student strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1999.

Sheng Xue grew up in Beijing. She moved to Canada soon after the June 4th Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. She is a poet and investigative journalist.

Goran Simic has published many volumes of poetry, drama, short fiction and librettos for opera. One of the most prominent writers of the former Yugoslavia, Simic and his family were trapped in the siege of Sarajevo.

Martha Kumsa was born and raised in Ethiopia, where she worked as a journalist until being imprisoned early in 1980. She spent 10 years in jail.

DRA01300 Drama/Canadian
96pp 5.5 x 8.5 in