Exiled Lit Cafe - First Monday of the month
at 22 Betterton Street, London WC2 H9BX
First half theme or person, then coffee!
Second half open mic session;
£5 or £3 members and asylum seekers.
How to get there:
Turn right out of the tube station and walk
up to Endell St, take a left and Betterton Street is just up and on
the right. The Poetry Cafe is half way down on the left, at 22 Betterton
•Monday 1st June 2015 at 7.30 pm
Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX
AN EXCITING EVENING!
BOOK LAUNCH: EYES CLOSED BY SOLEIMAN ADEL GUEMAR
His new collection presents poems written in exile in the UK.
THE THEME FOR THE EVENING
WOMEN WITHOUT MEN AND MEN FOR WOMEN
MUSIC AND POETRY
Soleiman Adel Guémar was born in 1963 and raised in Algiers. He was heading for an army career when he quit his engineering studies to spend two years in Paris working in publishing. He returned to Algiers in 1991 amid signs of democratisation, in order to work as a journalist, initially on 'L'Evènement', and then freelance. During the Black Decade of violence following suspension of the 1991 elections, Guémar reported on corruption and human rights abuses, also publishing short stories and hard-hitting political poetry. In 2002, following threats to his life, he sought political asylum in the UK. He published the poetry collection STATE OF EMERGENCY in 2007, winning an English PEN award.
STATE OF EMERGENCY – Todmorden: Arc Publications, Visible Poets series #20. Introduction by Lisa Appignanesi. French poems with English translations by Tom Cheesman and John Goodby. EYES CLOSED – Swansea: Hafan Books. French poems with English translations by Tom Cheesman and John Goodby.
Music and Song by Isabel Ros
“Isabel is a Spanish-British singer songwriter, poet, song -finder and multi-media artist. Born in Australia, of Spanish parents, she grew up in Madrid and Malaga. She found her voice as an adolescent, during the dictatorship, and learned to use it to support the diverse struggles of the time, singing at sittings by students, workers and the early women’s movement. She migrated to the UK in the late 70s, and connected straight away with the women’s movement, and communities of the ‘Otherhood’, especially refugees escaping persecution. Over the years, her bilingual voice has covered the multiple doings of human life, with an Andalusian passion committed to history told by those in search of dialogue, equality in diversity, inclusion and social change. Her most recent collections are We, La Palabra (The Word)and The Hummingbird Song.”
With two books published, Suhrab Sirat, is a writer, poet and civil society activist. He was born and grew up in northern Balkh Province of Afghanistan in 1990 and moved to the UK in 2014. He has a Bachelor in Persian Literature from Balkh University and has extensive experience working with prominent media and civil organisations. He worked for BBC World Service, Bost News Agency and Mandegar Daily in Afghanistan. Suhrab Sirat is the first literature prize winner of the United Nation Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for Women Rights 2009, and the first prize winner for Qand-e-Parsi, 2011, a prestigious literature organization in Persian speaking countries. He also composed lyrics for the first Afghan female rapper criticising patriarchy and extremism and promoted freedom and women’s rights.
Mabel Encinas does not possess a very fixed identity. For this reason, and in spite of being part of two groups of poets and writers (Hispanic-American Women Literary Workshop and Spanish and Latin American Poets and Writers) she is sometimes a poet, and sometimes she identifies with other arts, trades and professions. What she is certain about is that she finds in poetry a path to process her experiences (together with laughter and tears), and to participate in the world. She also has a regular column in the electronic newspaper The Prisma, and she has been close to Exiled Writers Ink for some few years, both at the Poetry Cafe and co-facilitating workshops.
From Mashhad, Iran, she won the silver medal in the national Literature Olympiad in 2000. After graduating in sociology from Tehran University, Fatemeh pursued post-graduate studies in London and Oxford where she taught Persian language and literature. In the 2009 post-election turmoil, Fatemeh and her family were targeted by the state for supporting the Green movement. Fatemeh was then forced into exile. She won the Jaleh Esfahani poetry award for the best young Persian poet in 2012. Her first book of poetry was published in 2013 under the title of '88'.
Organised and Hosted by Penelope Maclachlan and Valbona Luta
•Monday 11th May at 7.30 pm
Welcome to Britain!
Voices of refugees and migrants who arrive here
Welcomed, ignored or abused? Negotiating a new life in a strange land.
Music by Chuquai Billy
Refugees who escaped to England in the 1930s, thank England for accepting them.
Chuquai Billy is a Native American Indian performance poet, comedian, musician & writer from the Lakota Sioux and Choctaw Nations, born in Durant, Okla, lived in Gallup, New Mexico and Los Angeles, Calif, now based in London, UK. He was 1st runner up in Dave TV's Silver StandUp competition, and has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, London's Hackney Empire, Soho Theatre and Rich Mix Theatre
Rouhi Shafii is a published author and translator who has written a family memoir, Scent of Saffron, and a novel, Pomegranate Heart. She has translated many books and articles from English into Persian. She is also a social scientist, specialising in women’s issues and prevention of violence. She is the Founder and executive Director of the International Coalition Against Violence in Iran and lectures internationally on prevention of violence
Anna Maria Mickiewiczis a Polish-born poet, writer and editor, who writes both in Polish and English. Anna lived in California and has now been in London for many years. She edits the annual literary magazine Pamiętnik Literacki (The Literary Notebook), London. Her first collection of verse was published in 1985 and her selection of short stories and essays Okruchy z Okrągłego Stołu (Breadcrumbs from the Round Table) appeared in 2000. Her volume of poetry Proscenium was published in 2010. Anna’s poetry has appeared in the United States, UK, Australia and Poland in many literary journals and anthologies.
is a writer from Zimbabwe who left his native country due to political strife. He writes poetry and short stories and advocates for recognition of human rights and justice in Zimbabwe. He currently lives in London. He is a member of the Freedom from Torture's Write to Life acreative writing group based in London and is also a member of Exiled Writers Ink.
•Monday 13th April at 7 pm
Gypsy, Roma & Traveller Music & Poetry
Explore poetry, stories and plays from Romani and Traveller authors who will discus their works and how they represent elements of their cultures and histories.
DamianLe Bas- British Romani poet, writer and journalist. After studying Theology at St Johns College Oxford, Damiam has published accademic essays and his poetry has featured in numerous literary magazines. Since 2011 he has edited Travellers' Times, a long-running magazine and website for Britain's Romani and Traveller people.
Janna Eliot- Russian Armenian Romanipoet, writer and translator. Author of Romani story collection 'Spokes' and author of children's book 'Settela's Last Road'.
Valdemar Kalinin- Belarusian Romani poet, writer and translator. He has written more than 36 books including a collection of poems called 'romani dreams' (2005), works and articles about Roma. In 2001 he completed the translation of the whole Bible in the Romany language (Baltic Romanes).
Dan Allum- writer for theatre, radio and television. In 2014 his first screenplay won a Creative England film programme, he was part of BBC TV Writers Academy, and was lead consultant on the acclaimed E4 TV drama series GLUE (written by BAFTA Award Winner, Jack Thorne).
Is migration viewed positively by the poets and/or do they represent it as an existence inextricably linked to the past? This past may nurture or may haunt and threaten them unceasingly, for ever in pursuit of those who escaped.
Fawzi Karim is one of the most compelling voices of the exiled generation of Iraqi writers. He has published more than fourteen books of poetry, including a two volume Collected Poems (2000), The Foundling Years (2003), The Last Gypsies (2005), Night of Abel Alaa (2008) and Plague Lands (Carcanet 2011). He is also the author of eight books of prose, including The Emperor's Clothes: on Poetry (2000), Diary of The End of a Nightmare (2005), Gods the Companion: on music (2009). With his translator/poet Anthony Howell.
Poet from Birmingham of Irish immigrant parents, he is the author of four books including The Year I Loved England with Antony Own and is a past winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award. With Adrian Boyle he is co-writer of Men Without Names (CD), exploring the lived experience of Irish emigration to the UK
From Mashhad, Iran, she won the silver medal in the national Literature Olympiad in 2000. After graduating in sociology from Tehran University, Fatemeh pursued post-graduate studies in London and Oxford where she taught Persian language and literature. In the 2009 post-election turmoil, Fatemeh and her family were targeted by the state for supporting the Green movement. Fatemeh was then forced into exile. She won the Jaleh Esfahani poetry award for the best young Persian poet in 2012. Her first book of poetry was published in 2013 under the title of '88'.
Antony Owen is an English poet, author of three collections, including The Year I Loved England with Joseph Horgan, recommended by the Poetry Society as a summer read for 2014. Antony represented Amnesty International UK during their 50th Anniversary commemorations and, an acclaimed war poet, is due to travel to Japan where his work has featured at The Hiroshima Peace Museum and Jogakuin University.
is a traditional Irish musician from Bray in Co Wicklow. Reared in the culture of Irish music by his father, Adrian plays the flute, bodhran, accordion and various percussion instruments. A well respected session musician Adrian either composed or arranged all of the tracks on the CD Men Without Names.
Hosted by Abol Froushan
•Monday 2nd February at 7.30
The Power of the Pen
After the Paris massacre of journalists and French Jews,
we focus on poets and writers who have spoken out against oppression and resisted attempts to silence them and have been victims of state fear of the power of the pen manifested in punishment including censorship, torture, imprisonment and death. Exile may have been writers' sole means of survival.
We also invite Jewish poets, prose writers and spoken word performers to use the power of the pen to express their reflections.
Esmail Khoi, poet, is a major voice of the Iranian diaspora. In the 1960s and 70s he was opposed to the monarchical state in Iran advocating revolutionary change through his poetry. In the early 1980s as a leading member of the intellectual opposition to clerical rule, he spent almost two years in hiding before fleeing his homeland. He has emerged as an articulate chronicler of life in exile and a fierce defender of political freedoms and human rights the world over. He has published over thirty books in Persian. Selections in English translation include Edges of Poetry, Outlandia and Beyond the Horizon (2008) and the newly published Rubaiyyat of Esmail Khoi, translated by Lotfali Khonji. Khoi, an Exiled Writers Ink patron, is recipient of the Amnesty International Human Rights Award and of the German Coburg Ruckert-Preis for literature.
Viv Fogel, poet and artist,works as a psychotherapist and teacher. Her first poem was published in Peace News when she was sixteen. Vivwas adopted by Holocaust survivors, whose families perished in Auschwitz – and much of her writing has been informed and emerged from this transgenerational trauma. Her poems and articles have been published in various magazines and anthologies and she has co-organised many poetry events and benefits. ‘Memo for Peace’ was used as the poster for the Greenham Peace Camp Benefit (Roundhouse, Camden, 1982.) Her poems on adoption have been read on the radio and published in the adoption anthology ‘Chosen’ (BAAF 2012). For Viv writing is a way of inspiring or moving others. Her poetry collection ‘Without Question’ (2006) and pamphlet ‘Witness’ (2013) are published by Mandaras
El Habib Louaiis an Amazigh poet and translator from Taroudant, Morocco, and also a junior high school English teacher at Azzaytoun, Agadir. Hearticulates the Berber struggle and is active in various projects relating to poetry, spoken word and jazz music. He edited and translated an anthology of contemporary Moroccan poetry (Big Bridge Magazine). His poems have been published in various international literary magazines, anthologies, journals and reviews andhe has read his work in the UK and USA. His literary criticism has been published in various journals.
Music: Hassan Bendouz and Lahoucine Moutaouakil are junior high school teachers who also write songs and play music. They focus on local Amazigh traditional music and countryside folklore of southern Morocco, mainly Tachlhit. They are inspired by Amazigh rhythms of Ahwash which they blend with Sufi, jazz and Gnawa music. They consider themselves to be committed artists aspiring to collaborate with international artists for a better world of peace, justice and equality.
SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL OUR WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
• Monday 1st December at 7.30
JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN
In memory of the refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. In protest against the Government's decision to end search and rescue missions saving the lives of refugees fleeing wars and instability in Libya, Syria and other countries.
Odysseus embarked on an epic journey home to Ithaca after being exiled for many years fighting in the Trojan War. There are other myths and legends about journeys and maybe our guest writers dream of a journey and of course undertook their own emotional and perhaps, dangerous, journeys to the UK.
Predrag Finci born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, from where he had a perilous escape to England, is a philosopher, author, and essayist. His work is best known for its combination of erudition, philosophical and aesthetical insights, and personal experience. Finci writes extensively in his native language and also in English. A great number of articles and reviews of Finci’s books have been published in Bosnia and Croatia.
Shabibi Shah escaped from Afghanistan arriving in England in 1984. She draws on this experience for her as yet unpublished novel Innocent Deception. Where do I belong is a memoir about Shabibi's life in Afghanistan and then as a refugee. She has a degree in journalism and was a college lecturer in Kabul. She is a published poet in Dari.
Fatemeh Shams born in 1983 and from Mashhad, won the silver medal in the national Literature Olympiad in 2000. After graduating in sociology from Tehran University, Fatemeh pursued post-graduate studies in London and then in Oxford where she taught Persian language and literature. In the 2009 post-election turmoil, Fatemeh and her family were targeted by the state for supporting the Green movement. Since then Fatemeh has been forced into exile and has been active in the social media network and Iranian intellectual community in exile. She won the Jaleh Esfahani poetry award for the best young Persian poet in 2012. Her first book of poetry was published in 2013 under the title of '88'.
Paulina Egle Pukyte(b.1966 in Vilnius, Lithuania) is an artist, writer, essayist, and cultural commentator. She graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Art, and received a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London. Her first book Jų papročiai (Their Habits) was published in 2005. Her second book – ‘a string of very short stories and other texts’ Netikras zuikis (Fake Rabbit) was published in 2008 and shortlisted for the Book Of The Year award in Lithuania. Herthird book Bedalis ir labdarys (A Loser and a Do-gooder,Vilnius: Apostrofa, 2013) is a journey of an outsider.
Rahila is a rootless vagabond whose spiritual home is the now disappearing Sahara. Her endless journeys can be traced in her My Desert Odyssey and Odyssey Continues. She is now working on the promotional book, Being Neuter.
Create a collaborative poem
Open Mic - We welcome any poets and spoken word performers on the subject of their perilous journeys to the UK or attempts at return to their countries of origin.
Hosted by Hasani Hasani.
• Monday 3rd November at 7.30
EXILE: CREATING IDENTITY
Poetry, Playlet, Music
Mir Mahfuz Ali
Winner of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for Poetry, 2013. His debut collection is Midnight, Dhaka (Seren, 2014)
My Birthday Party
a playlet from City of Stories by established Iranian born playwright,Parvaneh Soltani, will be performed.
Bangladeshi-born Britishbilingual poet, storyteller. Her performance fuses the lines between education and entertainment and her workshops are rooted in Asian folk, oral traditions and heritage. Shamim Azad has published over 30 books including novels, collections of short stories, essays and poems in both English and Bengali and has been included in various anthologies including British South Asian Poetry.
Bangladeshi born British poet. She is a social worker (for autism) too. Also a famous presenter in National TV Channels, UK TV Channels & radio1503 A M. Awarded as Miss Bangladesh in 1998.
Bangladeshi born British poet and storyteller. She has published her book in English and is also a performer who has performed in various international productions .
Music: Antonio Riva and his band Le Gazhikane Muzikante
Hosted by writer Hasani Hasani
• Monday 6th of October at 7.30
BORDER CROSSINGS: Welsh and Exiled Poets Meet
with Poets from the Word Distillery Poets and from Exiled Writers Ink
Eluned Jones: published widely throughout the UK in magazines and
journals. Her poetry is insightful, often humorous, always original
and sometimes quirky.
Ali Abdolrezaei was born in Iran. He began his professional poetic career in 1986 publishing seven volumes of his work inside Iran before severe censorship made his work inside the country impossible. He was banned from teaching and public speaking, which forced him to go into exile in 2002. After leaving Iran, he briefly lived in Germany followed by two years in France.
Heather Williams: the newest member of the group. Published in
anthologies. As a teacher of Tai Chi her poetry is often influenced
by Far Eastern thinking.
Fathieh Saudi born in Jordan, she worked as paediatrician with Palestinian children in Jordan and Lebanon. For many years she has been involved with the defence of human rights, peace and justice. Her recent published collections of poetry in English include Prophetic Children(foreword by John Berger) and Daughter of the Thames.
Nigel Humphreys: A founder member. Has had 3 collections published in
London in recent years. His fourth book - The Love Song of Daphnis and
Chloe is out next year.
Adnan Al-Sayegh was born in 1955, in al-Kufa, Iraq, near the Euphrates River. He has published eleven collections of poetry, including the book-length Uruk’s Anthem (Beirut 1996) and won several international awards. He left his homeland in 1993 and since 2004 he has been living in exile in London.
Mark Perry: Fluctuates between the outrageously comical to sensitive
poetry influenced by his work in the community. He has had one
Sadayo Murphy: Though English is her second language (originally from
Japan) she has mastered it impressively. Haikus a speciality. She
has published one collection.
Tina Warren: Another founder member. She has one collection to her
name and reads her work widely. Her poetry is laconic and mostly
draws on personal experiences.
Hosted by Handsen Chikowore, poet and former resident of Wales
• Monday 1st of September at 7.30
OUR PAIN OUR LOVE
Wounds that define our identities such as exile, family, politics or lost romance
Poetry and Dance
Amarjit Chandan was born in Nairobi, Kenya and lives and works in London. He has published seven collections of poetry and four books of essays in Punjabi and his poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines world-wide. He has edited and translated into Punjabi about thirty anthologies of Indian and world poetry and fiction by, among others, Brecht, Neruda, Ritsos, Hikmet, Cardenal, Martin Carter and John Berger.
Abol Froushan left the Shah’s Iran to live and study in London in 1975. He has published two selections of his own poetry: A Language Against Language (in English) (Exiled Writers Ink, 2008) and the bilingual volume, I need your desert for my sneeze (in Persian & English) (PoetryPub, 2009). He has also been published in the anthology Silver Throat of the Moon (ed. J. Langer; Five Leaves, 2005) and Exiled Ink magazine, as well as in multimedia web-based publications including www.photoinsight.org.uk and Poetrymag
Maria Heath Beckett
Maria Heath Beckett is a London based writer and has performed her poetry regularly around London and also in Paris. She grew up in York, subsequently living in France and Italy, before settling in London, aged twenty-three. Her writing has appeared in Tumbleweed Hotel and The Wolf, among other publications; a dramatic poem in several voices has been performed at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, and currently, she is writing a novel.
Ali Abdolrezaei was born in Iran. He began his professional poetic career in 1986 publishing seven volumes of his work inside Iran before severe censorship made his work inside the country impossible. He was banned from teaching and public speaking, which forced him to go into exile in 2002. After leaving Iran, he briefly lived in Germany followed by two years in France.
Exiled Writers Ink, founded in 2000, works to promote the creative expression of refugees and exiles and to encourage cross-cultural dialogue. EWI is a non-political organisation that advocates human rights.
• Monday 7th of July at 7.30
SURVIVORS: HUNGARIAN JEWISH POETS OF THE HOLOCAUST
The launch of Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust, with Andy Croft, Bernard Kops, Jennifer Langer, Esther Lipton, Thomas Ország-Land and Isabel del Rio.
Nazi, neo-fascist and xenophobic parties are on the violent march again across Europe. The ‘radical nationalist’ Jobbik is now the third largest party in Hungary. Between March 1944 and April 1945, half a million Hungarian Jews, Roma, homosexuals and political dissidents were transported to extermination camps, mostly in Poland and Austria. Tens of thousands were enslaved in labour camps. Almost three-quarters of Hungary’s Jewish population perished.
Survivors brings together, for the first time in English, poems about the Hungarian Holocaust by Dán Dalmát, Tamás Emőd, György Faludy, Eszter Forrai, Ágnes Gergely, Jenő Heltai, Frigyes Karinthy, Éva Láng, András Mezei, Thomas Ország-Land, Miklós Radnóti, Hanna Szenes, Magda Székely, Ernő Szép, Vera Szöllős, György Timár, Judit Tóth and István Vas.
• Monday 2nd of June at 7.30
• Monday 12th May at 7.30
POETRY IN PROTEST
Hosted by Laila Sumpton, co-editor of the Keats House Poets and Human Rights Consortium publication
We will explore how writers investigate injustice and call for change.
In Protest' poets reading their work include
Sofia Buchuck(Peru) - who will also perform her music.
Osama Ahamdani (Sudan)
Yewa Holiday (Sierra Leone)
Barbara L. Lopez Cardona(Columbia)
We are also delighted that Cypriot poetAydin Mehmet Ali will present poetry from her new book- Forbidden Zones
We look forward to welcoming you to this evening of literary activism!
Open Mic on the theme
• Monday 7th April at 7.30
WAVES OF MIGRATION - POLISH POETRY IN EXILE
MARIA JASTRZĘBSKA: Her poems journey from tender childhood memories to deeply human awareness of sexuality, identity and language.
ANNA MARIA MICKIEWICZ:Writes succinct poems presenting a story, a sense of place, an atmosphere, in just a few lines.
WIOLETTA GRZEGORZEWSKA: Arrived from Czestochowa, leaving behind the upheavals and excitement of post-communist Poland to find inspiration along quieter shores on the Isle of Wight.
KATARZYNA ZECHENTER: Her intelligent and thoughtful poems combine wisdom with humour and irony in order to create distance without negation or nihilism.
HOSTED BY DAVID CLARK: who loves dancing in squares in Krakow and writing about his travels....
DO ARRIVE EARLY AS SPACES ARE LIMITED: Café open for coffee and snacks all evening.
• Monday 3rd March at 7.30
• Monday 3rd February at 7.30
ESCAPING TEXTS: ESCAPING THROUGH ART?
THE VOICES OF THREE EXILED IRANIANS IN POETRY, SHORT STORY AND FILM
Esmail Khoi is a major voice of the Iranian diaspora. Born in 1938, he was educated in Iran and England returning to Iran as a philosophy lecturer. In the 1960s and 70s he was opposed to the monarchical state in Iran advocating revolutionary change through his poetry. In the early 1980s as a leading member of the intellectual opposition to clerical rule, he spent almost two years in hiding before fleeing his homeland. He has emerged as an articulate chronicler of life in exile and a fierce defender of political freedoms and human rights the world over. He has published over thirty books in Persian. Selections in English translation includeEdges of Poetry, Outlandia and Beyond the Horizon (2008). A collection has also been translated into German. Esmail Khoi is recipient of the Amnesty International Human Rights Award and of the German Coburg Ruckert-Preis for literature. He is an Exiled Writers Ink patron.
Mania Akbari celebrated film-maker and author of My Mother's Black Chador (Nogaam, 2013).
Mania will show some of her videos and read from her new short story collection.
Mania Akbari was born in 1974 in Tehran and has worked variously as a painter, a filmmaker, and now as a writer. She was the star of Abbas Kiarostami’s film “Ten” released in 2002 to widespread acclaim. Two years later, she wrote, directed, and performed in her first feature length film “20 Fingers”, which tackled a variety of socially complex issues, from divorce to homosexuality. It won the ‘Best Digital Film’ plaudit at the 61st Venice International Film Festival. Between 2004 and 2007 she produced a widely praised collection entitled ‘Six Video Arts’ which featured at exhibitions from the Tate Modern to the Locarno Film Festival. The experience of successfully overcoming breast cancer impelled her to direct and perform in the film “10+4”. In 2010, she released the documentary “30 Minutes to 6AM”, which explored themes of revenge, justice and pain in the story of a young Iranian facing execution. Facing an atmosphere of heightened censorship and political scrutiny in Iran, she was forced to abandon work on her next feature “Women Do Not Have Breasts” in 2011, after which she left the country for Europe. Mania Akbari has settled in London, and having finished her 2012 film “In My Country, Men Have Breasts”, has had her collection of short stories published entitled My Mother's Black Chador.
Nasrin Parvaz was born in Tehran in 1958. She first came to the UK in 1978, at the age of 20, in order to study. When the revolution broke out the following year she returned to Iran for a brief visit to her family, not realising that she wouldn’t be back in Britain for another 15 years – as an exile. In post-revolutionary Iran she became active in the field of women’s rights and civil rights, and was arrested, tortured and sentenced to execution in 1982. Her life was saved by the intervention of her father, who managed to get her sentence reduced to imprisonment. She was released in 1990 after spending eight years in prison. Realising that she could no longer stay in Iran she fled to the UK, where she claimed asylum in 1993. Nasrin published her memoir in Farsi in 2002 Zire Boteh Laleh Abasi and the Italian translation was published in 2006 by Effedue Edizioni. She is continuing to write fictional accounts of the lives of people in Iran and their struggle to change their situation. Together with poet Hubert Moore, Nasrin has translated some poems that have been prohibited in Iran from Farsi into English. These are published in the Modern Poetry in Translation series.
Hosted by Navid Hamzavi, prose writer
• Monday 6th January 2014 at 7.30
BEYOND IDENTITY OR CONFLICTING IDENTITIES
Through their poetic work, four Jewish poets from Argentina, Iran and England explore in very different ways, whether their poetry is invariably a representation of identity and if so, which one. Is it possible or desirable to escape from the poetics and politics of identity through poetry?
Special Guest who is a published poet.
Simon Altmann was born in Buenos Aires, which he first left in 1949 to do a PhD in the Theoretical Physics Department of King’s College London. Since his teens he has written poetry, first in Spanish but after ten years in the UK in English. He has published a collection of some 230 poems as an eBook (“Not for Poets”). On his return to Buenos Aires he was given the sack in the University for his refusal to join the Peronista Party. He then left Buenos Aires for a second time to become a post-doctoral at the Oxford Mathematical Institute. After five years, on Peron’s fall, he returned to Buenos Aires to help rebuild the University but he found that other returned exiles were behaving like the Peronistas had done before and he then went back to Oxford, where he is now retired. He has published five maths books and three on history and philosophy of science. Besides his poetry he is currently working on history of art (Las Meninas, and the Annunciation are his recently published papers).
Gabriel Spierswas born and went to school in north west London. While at school, he developed a passion for rap music/poetry which he started to write and perform himself. He was frequently commissioned by teachers to write them on specific topics to correspond with the themes of the particular assemblies in which he was asked to perform them. Now he continues to write and perform and has now performed twice in the open mic slot of the monthly Exiled Writers evening.
Adam Taylor. His poems have featured in national newspapers and poetry journals. He has performed widely including at the Edinburgh Fringe, Jewish Book Week and Ledbury and other poetry / literary festivals. He had a stint writing and broadcasting topical poems as resident poet for "The World Today" on the BBC World Service. Adam’s poetry book is called “God’s Face In Your Gazpacho”. www.adamtaylorpoetry.com.
Hosted by Jennifer Langer
Open Mic on the theme
•Thursday 19th December at 7.30
SYRIA: FREEDOM VERSUS DEATH
with the celebrated Syrian writers
Iyad Hayatleh and Maram al-Masri and Husam Eddin Mohammad
Iyad Hayatleh is a Palestinian poet, translator who was born and grew up in Syria. He started writing poetry early and published his work in Arabic magazines, giving many readings in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He has lived in Glasgow since 2000, and he is now an active member of Scottish Pen and Artists in Exile Glasgow and has taken part in many cultural events and translation and poetry workshops giving many readings in Glasgow, Inverness, Belfast, Wigtown, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh International Book Festival, and published some of his poems in Magazines and collective pamphlets in Scotland, and has his first collection published by Survivor’s Press, called Beyond all Measure. He has collaborated with poet Tessa Ransford, on a two-way translation project for a book, A Rug of a Thousand Colours, with poems inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam, published by Luath Press, Edinburgh in September 2012.
Born in Latakia, Syria, Maram al-Masri ( مرام المصري ) is a contemporary poet and writer. After studying English literature at Damascus, she moved to Paris in 1982. At present she dedicates herself exclusively to literature and translation. Besides numerous poems published in literary journals, in several Arab anthologies and in various international anthologies, she has published several collections of poems. Thus far her work has been translated into eight languages. Maram al-Masri has participated in many international festivals of poetry in France and abroad. She has been awarded the following prizes: “Adonis Prize” of the Lebanese Cultural Forum for the best creative work in Arabic in 1998, “Premio Citta di Calopezzati” for the section “Poesie de la Mediterranee”, “Prix d’Automne 2007” of the Societe des gens de lettres. Numerous translations of her work from the Arabic include A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor (Translation by Khaled Mattawa, Bloodaxe Book Editions, Newcastle, 2004, Second edition printed in 2005, Third edition printed in 2007, US Copper Canyon Press).
Husam Eddin Mohammad Author, editor and translator of a selection of creative, political and autobiographical books including:PoisonedKohl (Poetry and short stories), Introducing Slafoj Zizik (translation), Country of Words(translation and editing), A History of Injustice in the Arab World (editing). Vice president of the Syrian Writers Association, Managing Editor of a 'Awraq' magazine (London), founder of a (Al-Wa'I) Publishing House, Co-founder of the Syrian Journalist Association, co-owner of Artiquea Gallery (London), Many times a contributor to debates in universities, conferences, TV programs and workshops.
• Monday 2nd December at 7.30
An explosive evening of new work by exiled writers - edited in a two-way process of exiled writing into English and English work into exiled writers' languages.
Image: Abol Froushan
Roda Mire, Somali writer, with Esther Lipton, poet and short story writer, barrister
Navid Hamzavi, Iranian short story writer and novelist, with David Clark, academic and poet Mabel Encinas, Mexican poet, with Simon Altmann, physicist and poet Nasrin Parvaz, Iranian writer, with Anouche Sherman, poet, translator and multi-media artist Sofia Buchuck, Peruvian poet, with Laila Sumpton, poet and human rights activist Lara Popovic, Serbian poet, and Hasani Hasani, Zimbabwean poet, with Ziba Karbassi, poet
Hosted by Abol Froushan
• Monday 4th November at 7.30
• Monday 7th October at 7.30
But does peace always suggest the absence of agitation or conflict? The word is sometimes used in reference to silence. What does Runyararo mean to the ordinary Zimbabwean today?
Dumi Senda is a Zimbabwean-born internationally acclaimed poet who who will read from his newly published collection: When the Soul Awakens.He performed in honour of Nelson Mandela at the invitation of the BBC and has been a guest speaker at the UK Houses of Parliament and the UN, Geneva. He is renowned for his humanitarian activism and extensive work to inspire communities and young people across the globe.
Handsen Chikowore has written many poems about human rights. His ‘Cry African Girl’ was published in more than 200 magazines and newspapers and he has graced the Poetry Cafe with his poetry on several occasions.
Belinda Zhawi is a writer and Politics student from Zimbabwe and a decade long resident of London. She has performed across the UK at festivals and events including Bestival, Big Chill, Tongue Fu and Poejazzi. Her work has been published in the 2012 anthology Liminal Animals, alongside some of her poetry heroes. She is an active member of Rubix Collective, and has had work featured and credited on their 2012 album, Red, a Roundhouse Records release.
Music by Lucky Moyo
He is a producer, director, singer and songwriter, who has in the past 18 years performed in 30 countries sharing stages with Jimmy Cliff, Peter Gabriel and Naughty by Nature. He has appeared on such programmes as Blue Peter, Later with Jools Holland, prime time on City TV-Toronto and venues such as the JFK Centre in Washington DC, Opera de Paris and Ronnie Scotts. Lucky passionately, argues for music as a vehicle for change, communication, dialogue, healing and problem solving.
Hosted by Shereen Pandit
• Monday 2nd of September at 7.30
Serbian Poetry and Prose in English
Organised by The Association of Serbian Writers and Artists Abroad (ASWA)
Sonja Besford • Nikola Čobić • Vesna Goldsworthy
Vesna Goldsworthy's most recent book, Crashow prize winning collection, The Angel of Salonika, was one of The Times best poetry books in 2011.
Nikola Cobic was born in Belgrade. He writes poetry and short stories and is the guitarist in the London based group, Princip. He was an editor of a poetry magazine The Wolf.
Sonja Besford was born in Belgrade. She has nine published books. She lives in London with her first husband.
They will also talk about their favourite Serbian writers: Kiš, Crnjanski, Miljković, Mihajlović, Pekić & Petrović. There will then be discussion.
• Monday 5th August at 7.30
EXILED DREAMS AND IMAGININGS Exiled Dreams and Imaginings
Music and Poetry
Anouche Sherman, 2012 (EWI committee member)
Shirin Razavian is a Tehran-bornBritish poet who has appeared in Poetry London, Index on Censorship, Exiled Writers Magazine, Agenda, The London Magazine and Persian Book Review among others. She has published Farsi and English poetry collections in the UK, the latest of which was Which Shade of Blue in 2010. It featured original works and translations by the poet and translator of Russian literature, Robert Chandler. www.ShirinRazavian.com
Freedom from Torture’s 'Write to Life' group visits Exiled Writers Ink, with a programme of stories, poems and other inspiration for dreamers in exile here in London.
Khayke Beruriah Wiegand will read from her collection of poetry:Tsi hot ir gezen mayn tsig ? un andere lider - Have You Seen My Goat ? And Other Poems, Tel Aviv : H.Leyvik-farlag, 2012.
For many years she has been writing poetry in Yiddish and has published her poetry in various Yiddish publications in New York, Paris, Florence and Jerusalem.She is also a translator from Yiddish and has published a bilingual edition of A.N. Stencl’s early verse, co-translated with Stephen Watts (Five Leaves, 2007), as well as a translation of a book of memoirs by the Grodno writer Leib Reizer (Yad Vashem, 2009). She is the Woolf Corob Lector in Yiddish at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (University of Oxford).
Hosted by Hasani Hasani, EWI committee member
• Monday 1st of July at 7.30 pm
• Saturday 22nd June at 3.30
Exiled Writers Ink in conjunction with the Ottoman AHRC project
invites you to a Free Exiled Lit Cafe afternoon
MEMOIRS IN DIALOGUE
and oud music
Both Professor Sahar Hammouda, visiting from Egypt, and Dr. Jay Prosser are writers of memoirs, but while Sahar's memoir is set in Jerusalem from where her family had to flee, Jay's memoir-in-progress is the narrative of Iraqi Jews who left Iraq to follow the trade routes of the British Empire.
Sahar and Jay will be in conversation.
With exiled Iraqi Oud player: Ehsan Emam
Mint Tea and Baklava on sale in the Cafe
Hosted by Dr. Jennifer Langer, ed. If Salt has Memory
Contemporary Jewish Exiled Writing; The Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile; Crossing the Border.
Sahar Hamouda’s Once Upon a Time in Jerusalem is the saga of a Palestinian family living in Jerusalem during the British mandate, and its fate in the diaspora following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Told from the perspective of a mother and daughter, the book shows Jerusalem from a new perspective: a cosmopolitan city where people from all nations and faiths worshipped, married and lived together, until such a co-existence ended and a new order was enforced.
Jay Prosser’s memoir-in-progress, Love and Empire: A Family Story, tells the story of the diaspora of Baghdadi Jews and their subsequent sojourns, and intermarriages, in India and then in Singapore. Using music as a key motif for capturing memory and migration, Prosser is discovering family stories that repeatedly show Jewish identity as thoroughly meshed with transcultural openness: towards Iraq, towards India and indeed towards a distant Arabian past.
• Monday 3rd June at 7.30
THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE
In any multicultural and healthy society, the voices of minorities and individuals and thinkers may express diversity of opinion and thought, find freedom of assembly, the right to protest peacefully, unlike Zimbabwe, from where Paul Davey, writer and photographer heralds as does Bart Wolffe who is hosting the evening as well as musician/writer Taku Mukiwa.
This is the very basis for the organisation, Exiled Writers Ink; to provide a platform for those whose freedom of expression has been curtailed in their former homelands.
Paul will be doing a presentation of slides accompanied by a talk from his recent book, This Is What Democracy Looks Like. He will be accompanied by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, writer and translator, Iraqi poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh, Nigerian born poet Chinwe Azubuike and Zimbabwean Mbira authority Taku Mukiwa.
There will also be a short open-mike session after the question and answer discussion at the end of the evening.
Paul Davey is a London based press photographer and writer. After 28 years working as an art director, copywriter and commercial photographer, and thoroughly disillusioned with the marketing industry, he has switched emphasis to news and documentary photography. With a growing reputation for his portraits, he published his 2012 retrospective, This Is What Democracy Looks Like. The book offers readers the chance to stare at unique people in unique situations, exposing all shades of the political and social gamut from the far left to the far right
Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, Chinese and French. Born in Singapore, she grew up in a hybrid of cultures. After receiving a British education, she moved to the States and graduated from Columbia University and New York University before obtaining her PhD from Paris IV-Sorbonne. Her new collection of poetry,My Funeral Gondola, is published as a Mãnoa Books title by El Léon Literary Arts in 2013. Her debut poetry title, Water the Moon, appeared in 2010. In addition to her books of translation of contemporary Chinese poets from Zephyr Press, and prose translations of Hai Zi forthcoming from Tupelo, she has translated Ghérasim Luca and American poet Mark Strand. She has co-edited Sky Lanterns: New Poetry from China, Formosa and Beyond (2012) and On Freedom: Spirit, Art and State (2013), both from the University of Hawai‘i Press/Mãnoa. With Gao Xingjian, she co-authored Silhouette/Shadow: Cinematic Art (Contours, 2007). A co-founder of Cerise Press, and a contributing editor of Mãnoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, she currently works as an editor at Vif Éditions, an independent French publishing house in Paris. Also a zheng harpist, she has performed worldwide. Her CD, In One Take, was released in 2010.
Chinwe Azubuike is a contemporary African Poet, born in Lagos-Nigeria. Much of her work explores the relationship between traditional beliefs and modernity. Her poetry highlights the complicated issues and beauty of the people of Africa, often focusing on female issues; of love, life and torture with specific references to ethnic family traditions. Chinwe believes that culture is alive and as a poet, sees herself as part of a process of renewal. She has collaborated with artists in installations and exhibitions at a number of venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Taku Mukiwa is a Zimbabwean musician who writes an Mbira blog which disseminates news and views on this very traditional African instrument especially as it is seen and adopted in countries ranging from Japan to the USA. He will share his vision on how this little-known musical form is an ancient voice that he is ensuring can be heard in the wider contemporary society of multiculturalism and adds to the broader picture of a democratic ideal.
Adnan al-Sayegh one of the most orginal voices of the generation of Iraqi poets that came to maturity in the 1980s,was born in al-Kufa, Iraq. In the 1980s he was conscripted in the Iran-Iraq war and in 1993 his uncompromising criticism of oppression and injustice led to exile in Jordan and Lebanon. On the publication of 'Uruk's Anthem', he was sentenced to death in Iraq and took refuge in Sweden. Eleven collections of his poetry have been published in Arabic and The Deleted Part in English (Exiled Writers Ink 2009). Adnan has received several prestigious international awards.
• Monday 13 May at 7.30
POETS FOR PEACE IN COLOMBIA
Taking part in the international poetry action launched by The World Poetry Movement (www.wpm2011.org), the movement is composed of 250 festivals and poetry organisations and 1350 poets from 131 countries.
Colombia is experiencing one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies on earth. This conflict has claimed more than one million lives and has left behind an even greater number of the population wounded, maimed, disappeared, imprisoned or exiled. Peace in Colombia, a country that deeply loves poetry, is a must more than ever before. This poetry initiative was launched by Fernando Rendon, poet and director of The International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia, Alternative Nobel Prize 2006.
Programmed and presented by Fathieh Saudi, poet and author. With the exceptional participation of poets and musicians
Ruth is a British poet and writer.She has published a novel, eight books of non-fiction, including three on reading poetry and eight poetry collections:most recently the The Mara Crossing, an exploration of migration and displacement in poetry and prose. . She also presents Radio 4′s Poetry Workshop. Her awards include First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, an Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and a British Council Darwin NowResearch Award for her novelWhere the Serpent Lives.
Is a writer, poet, public speaker, and broadcaster on a number of topics. He has been trustee of the Poetry Society and Planet Poetry and is a trustee of English PEN. Raficq was awarded an MBE for his interfaith work. He has published two books of poetry based on the Muslim mystics poets Rumi and Attar.
Author of several collections of poetry, includingMorning Breaks in the Elevatorand Rebel Without Applause, he is also editor ofThe Fire Peopleand a performance pioneer. His broadcasting work is extensive - including regular appearances on BBCRadio’s 1, 4 and 5. He is an associate artist at the Southbank Centre.
Was born in Medellin, Colombia. She started writing poetry at school as a way of expressing her feelings and thoughts.
Antonio Riva and his band Le Gazhikane Muzikante
Antonio Riva is a singer and guitarist and his musicians play original arrangements of traditional folk songs from South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area. The band comprises guitarist Antonio Riva, accordionist Ana Reisinger, clarinettists Clare Southworth and Liam Fionescu, cellist Kat Henderson and percussionist Seppi Pogadl.
• Monday 8th April at 7.30
EXILE: A PECULIAR STATE OF BEING
Scene from MoneyLove by V. Schonfeld
Yasin Aziz is from the town of Halabja in South Kurdistan, Kurdistan Regional Government, North Iraq and came to England in 1984. He worked as a civil servant with the Inland Revenue for about 10 years. He started writing in 1988 after the bombardment of Halabja. He has published books in Kurdish, had poetry published in England and translation, reviews of books and articles published online about various topics in English and Kurdish. He recently completed a historical novel about the Kurds.
Maria Eugenia Bravo Calderara is a Chilean writer in exile. Her poetry collections are entitled Prayer in the National Stadium (London 1992) and Poems from Exile (Exiled Writers Ink, 2008). In 1993 in Chile she published a book about Pablo Neruda's poetry. Her short stories have been published in Chile and Spain while her poetry has appeared in anthologies published Europe-wide.
Victor Schonfeld is an award-winning filmmaker and more recently a prose fiction writer. He is renowned for a range of controversial films on hitherto taboo subjects. Long time resident in London, Schonfeld was born and raised in the USA. He will show part of his ITV network documentary MoneyLove which scrutinises the compulsive pursuit of wealth in his homeland, America, as seen through the prism of an expatriate, and he will be reading a short story in which he engages with related themes.
Extracts from the film MoneyLove by Victor Schonfeld
Special Visiting Guest: Bashir Sakhawarz
He is an award-winning poet, novelist and short story writer. A native of war-torn Afghanistan, he has lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America and worked for international organisations such as the United Nations, European Union, Asian Development Bank, International Red Cross and NGOs. Sakhawarz lives with his family in Geneva. He has just published his novel, Maargir, the Snake Charmer (Oct. 2012).
Hosted by Jennifer Langer, poet and essayist
• Monday 4th March at 7.30
ARAB NIGHTS AND ARAB SPRING DAYS
Tales of Revolution by Arab writers
Extracts from the theatre production The Arab Nights.
with dazzling and accomplished Syrian qanun player Maya Youssef
British Iraqi playwright: Hassan Abdulrazzak and director: Poppy Burton-Morgan
Syrian fiction writer: Ghalia Kabbani
Natalie Dew will take the place of Moroccan actor: Lahcen Razzougui to perform 'The Tale in his Mind'
Hassan Bahri was a mechanical engineer and political activist in Syria and was imprisoned there for over eight years. In 2001 he came to the UK where he is a freelance translator and also writes articles for Arabic newspapers. He has published a collection of short stories in English: 'Bread Heap and a Dreamer'.
Sahar Abdulla She is a Syrian poet and writer whose father is a political prisoner.
Syrian Kanun player Maya Youssef comes from a family of artists. Her musical appreciation and education started when she was just a child.
Maya’s musical renown was already set in motion, when she won the Best Musician Award in Syria’s youth national music competition in 1996.
In 2007 Maya completed her BA in Music from the High Institute of Music & Theatrical Arts in Damascus, where she was trained in classical Arabic, Western, Azerbaijani and Turkish Kanun schools.
As a renowned soloist or with musical ensembles Maya gave vibrant performances in Dubai, Beijing, Bologna, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Athens among other vibrant destinations.
When Maya moved to Dubai in 2007 she created a buzz around her and attracted the media attention where she gave various TV interviews at leading Arabic TV channels like mbc, Dubai TV, Abu Dhabi TV among others.
As an acclaimed kanun expert, Maya was invited in 2009 to teach at Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University in the Department of Music and Musicology, she taught Kanun and Theory of Arabic Music there.
In early 2012, Arts Council of England recognized Maya as an Exceptional Talent, which has enabled her to come to the UK to develop her international career and she is currently living and working in London.
Hosted by Ghalia Kabbani,fiction writer and journalist
with illustrious poets from Australia, Iran and America
- Katherine Gallagher was born in Australia and has lived in London since 1979. She has five full collections of poetry, the most recent being Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010). She was a Parnassus poet representing Australia at the Derry Clipper Festival in July last year.
- Kristiana Rae Colon is on a special visit from Chicago to promote her poetry collection. She is a poet, playwright, actor, hip-hop artist, and educator. Her short collection of poems promised instruments was launched in Chicago by Northwestern University Press on January 31. The poems in promised instrumentsare also a part of her one-woman show cry wolf which just had a run in Chicago as apart of Teatro Luna's Solo Tres festival. In autumn, she was in London for the world premiere of her play but i cd only whisper at the Arcola Theatre.
- Ziba Karbassi was born in Tabriz, Iran and had to leave in the mid-1980s. She has published seven books of poetry and is widely regarded as the most accomplished Persian poet of her generation. She has performed her poetry extensively across Europe and America. In 2009 she won the Golden Apple poetry prize of Azerbaijan. Her poetry has been largely translated into English by Stephen Watts and into Italian by Cristina Viti. Her collection PoemsPoesie was published in 2011 (Mille Gru).
- Ali Abdolrezaei was born in northern Iran beginning his poetic career in 1986. His poetic voice is highly original. He published eight books in Iran but in 2002, following his protest against the severe censorship imposed on his work, including Society and Shinema, he was banned from teaching and public speaking. He left Iran settling for two years in France after which he came to London.
Hosted by Abol Froushan, poet, writer and Chair of Exiled Writers Ink.
• Monday 7th January 2013 at 7.30
CAFE WITHOUT BORDERS
Abol Froushan, Abdulkareem Kasid, Fathieh Saudi and Bart Wolffe
Poetry while the tea likethe universe is going cold
Poetry like the universe while the tea is going cold
From 'Let's makesome Tea' by Abol Froushan
A cafe which no doubt existed
Only in my dream
From Cafes by Abdulkareem Kasid, trans. Sara Halub (2012: The Many Press).
Abol Froushan is an Anglo Persian poet, translator and critic, born in Iran, living and working in London. He has a PhD from Imperial College of London, and is currently the Iran Editor of Poetry International Web, and chair of Exiled Writers Ink UK. Abol's poetry has been reviewed as one of phenomenal presence and fresh vision, recording the sudden and re-examining archetypes and universals in microscopic detail.
Abdulkareem Kasid, a widely published poet, essayist and translator, was born in Basra in 1946. He left Iraq in 1978, and from 1980 to 1990 he lived and worked in Damascus. He is now settled in London with his two children. He has translated the French poets Prevert, Rimbaud and St-Jean-Perse into Arabic. English translations of his own work have appeared in various UK magazines, includingBanipal, Shadowtrain, The North, Poetry London. Just out from The Many Press is 'Cafes', the first extensive publication of his work in English.
Fathieh Saudi born in Jordan, she completed her medical studies in France and worked as paediatrician with Palestinian children in Jordan and Lebanon. For many years she has been involved with the defence of human rights, peace and justice. She has written or translated several books. Her recent published collections of poetry in English include Prophetic Children(foreword by John Berger) and Daughter of the Thames. Fathieh was awarded OBE from France. She is board member of English PEN and Exiled Writers Ink.
Bart Wolffe is a self-imposed exile from Zimbabwe with a long history of writing, acting, directing and producing for television, radio, filmand theatre throughout southern Africa and has had six of his plays performed in London and Edinburgh. He is also a novelist and poet.
Hosted by Jennifer Langer, poet and essayist.
• Monday 3rd December 2012 at 7.30
FLONDON is a continuation of the cooperation between Exiled Writers Ink, EWI, and the Festival of Literature in Orllan, FLO, which started in 2011. On the 100th anniversary of the Independence of Albania, EWI presents several authors who took part in this year's FLO in Kosova.
Mirela Sula is a writer from Albania currently living in London. An author of several books of poetry and fiction, she has studied Language and Literature, and has done a Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychology. She has worked as a journalist and is the founder of “Women's Network: Equality in Decision making” in Albania. Her poems have been translated into several languages.
Teuta Skenderi was born in Prizren, Kosova. She studied literature and languages and performed in several theatre productions before coming to London in the early 90s where she continued and finished her studies. She is involved in the art scene, acting, publishing and translating poetry. Teuta is currently working on a collection of poems entitled "Monochrome Dreams"
Robert Wilton, is author of a historical thriller, Emperor's Gold, and translator, mainly of Albanian Literature, into English. He was advisor to the Prime Minister of Kosova in the lead-up to the country's independence and has held several posts in the British Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office and Cabinet Office. He divides his time between Kosova and Cornwall.
Zarghuna KARGAR, from Kabul, is author of Dear Zari, a collection of 13 stories of Afghan Women. When civil war broke out in Afghanistan, she and her family fled to Pakistan. In 2001 her family sought asylum in the UK, and she started working for the BBC World Service Pashtu Section. Zarghuna lives in London.
Mark Nelson is a new and thrilling talent, a blues balladeer (acoustic guitarist & singer/songwriter)! He was voted Best Support Artist 2010 at the Guildford Music Awards 2010, and has performed in the UK and abroad. Mark is the author of the original score for the FLO Festival. He is about to release his first album 'In from the Cold' on iTunes.
Organised by Valbona Ismaili Luta, active EWI committee member since the establishment of the organisation in 2000.
• Monday 5th November 2012 at 7.30
Muslim voices from China
An evening dedicated to Uyghur writers from Xinjiang
* The Land Drowned in Tears by Söyün'gül Janishif
Excerpts from a new translation read by Rahima Mahmut. Söyün'gül Janishif was born in 1940 into a middle class family in the capital of Urumchi in China’s north-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, also known as East Turkistan. While studying medicine at university she became involved in student politics, and was arrested and
imprisoned. “The Land Drowned in Tears” is based on her secret prison diary, kept between 1957 and 1981 during her time in prison and labour camps in Xinjiang. It provides a unique first-hand account of the extremism, terror and violence of the Cultural Revolution as experienced by Uyghurs.
* Introduction to the work of Uyghur PEN
The International PEN Uyghur Center is one of 145 International PEN centres across the globe dedicated to promoting freedom of expression, thought and
information for all. It campaigns for the release of imprisoned writers, for free media, for the right to one's mother tongue, and for other rights related to freedom of expression. Uyghur PEN's focus of expertise is on western China and Central Asia.
* Music from the London Uyghur Ensemble
A London-based group playing traditional and popular music of the Central Asian Uyghurs. LUE made its debut at the London South Bank ‘Sanctuary’ festival for refugee music in 2005, and (among many other gigs) has performed at St Ethelburgas Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, and Norway’s Forde ‘Freedom and Oppression’ Folk Festival.
* Special guest poet from Australia:
Toby Davidson is a West Australian poet now living in Sydney as a lecturer in Australian literature at Macquarie University. He is the editor of Francis Webb Collected Poems and an upcoming critical study Born of Fire, Possessed by Darkness: Mysticism and Australian Poetry (Cambria Press, 2013). His own poetry has thrice featured in Australia's major yearly anthology Best Australian Poems in 2007 and 2011 and in December 2012 his debut collection Beast Language will be launched by Melbourne's Five Islands Press.
Native American Voice
Chuquai Billy is a Native American writer, poet and comedian from the Lakota Sioux/Choctaw Nations, originally from Gallup, New Mexico, now based in London, UK.
* Open Mic
Hosted by Rachel Harris (Department of Music, SOAS) and Rahima Mahmut (London Uyghur Ensemble)
• Monday 1st October 2012 at 7.30
• Monday 3rd September 2012 at 7.30
PROSE IN PLIGHT: THE PLOT BEING LANGUAGE IN THE SECOND PLACE
published in "Metro", 20th of September
Four international writers read the throes of their fiction in a night of prose at the Poetry Place
An award-winning poet, a novelist and short story writer, Bashir has lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America and has worked for a number of international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, The International Red Cross and NGOS. His latest novel MAARGIR The Snake Charmer is nominated for Asia Man Literary prize.
His poetry collections include ‘The night Stories’, winner of the first prize from the Afghan Writer’s Association for poetry in 1978. His other poetry books in Persian ‘in loneliness cocoon’ and ‘Eastern Chlorophyll’ have been translated into many languages.
was a South African lawyer and political activist before coming into exile in the UK in 1987. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines and have won several prizes, including the Book Trust London Award. She also writes articles and reviews for newspapers and magazines.
Hom was born in 1971 in a mountain village in Nepal, the youngest of nine siblings. His first book, published in 1989 at the age of 19, was the poetry collectionDhoon Napayeka GeetHaru [‘Songs Without Melodies’], followed in 1991 by his biography of a famous Nepalese singer, YatraHaru Narayen GopalKa [‘The Journeys of Narayen Gopal’]. His first published novel Yaad Harayeko Maanchhe [‘The Lost Memory Man’] became an overnight bestseller in 1992. Two further collections followed: Parichaya Tyo [‘The Identity That’] in 1994, and Lukdainan Manaka ByethaaHaru [‘The Soul’s Pain Wont Hide’] in 1995. His second novelSamaya Pari (Beyond Time), which is due for publication in London in 2010-11, is set in Nepal, Bihar and Kolkata, India. It is about the plight of the street children of Kathmandu and the sufferings imposed by the caste system in some South Asian countries. Since 1996, Hom Paribag has lived in London.In 2004, he founded the English language publication Society Today Magazine, which is published in hard copy and online (www.society-today.com).
Born in Shiraz, Iran, Navid graduated in Iran with a bachelor degree in metallurgy. He has published a collection of short story titled “Rag-and-bone man” more than half of which was censored by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Having difficulties to publish his stories, he recently came to London and has given reading & performance at various festivals such as “East Finchley Art Festival” , “Hardy Tree Gallery” and “Exiled Writer Ink” and “Brighton Festival”, and some of his stories appeared in English magazines such as” Carillon magazine”. His current novel is under translation.
Hosted by Abol Froushan, poet
• Monday 6th August 2012 at 7.30
OLYMPICS HERE; RACE AGAINST OPPRESSION THERE
Zimbabwean Mbira Music and lyrics by Takudzwa Mukiwa
Farayi Chikowore: Farayi Chikowore is a Zimbabwean who writes poems in English. He is an asylum seeker. He recently fled Robert Mugabe regime. He was a teacher in the rural areas of Mhangura which is one of the remote places. He was severely beaten by Zanu PF youths. During one of the beatings he lost a front tooth and lost his mental faculties as well. As a result was detained in mental health institution. When he recovered, he fled Zimbabwe.
Amanda Epe: Amanda Epe writes poetry and short stories on themes such as gender, ethnicity and spirituality, and her writings have been included in Shangwe anthologies. Her poems featured in Strand Book of International Poets 2010, highlights the ethnic struggles in the Niger Delta. She wrote the poem "Seri" as a tribute to the late Major Isaac Jasper Boro a pioneer for minority rights activism of the Niger Delta.
Takudzwa Mukiwa: Taku Mukiwa is a musician from Zimbabwe who plays the country’s iconic musical instrument the mbira,. His music is drawn from the traditional Shona repertoire with modern lyrics that run commentary to some of the issues affecting Zimbabweans both at home and abroad.
First and foremost, Bart sees himself as a wordsmith whose love lies with the English language. To win a recent National poetry competition is the first real recognition Bart has had since immigrating to the UK in 2003 despite over thirty years of working with the written word.
After many years in the advertising industry in Zimbabwe, involved with both electronic media and print, Bart developed as an independent writer and theatre director responsible for running workshops throughout southern Africa often based on human rights.
Some of the organisations he worked with in Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe include the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the British Council, The Goethe Institute and Alliance Francaise.
He initially brought a team of actors to London and Edinburgh to perform six of his plays in 1997. His own portfolio, which includes plays, novels and poetry, reflects his passion for giving voice to the voiceless, minorities and dispossessed individuals. An essay on exile and alienation, FLOTSAM, was published by Exiled Writers Ink, for whom Bart is a committee member and has written a great deal in recent years including feature work on the suppression of the artist’s voice in Zimbabwe, one of the primary reasons why he had to leave Africa behind. He has been interviewed on BBC Radio One since being here as well as by German Radio and an Independent Zimbabwean radio station broadcasting from London to Africa.
Jade Amoli-Jackson Jade Amoli-Jackson is a torture survivor from Uganda. She is a member of Write to Life a group of torture survivor from Freedom from Torture.
Hosted by poet, Handsen Chikowore and Hasani Hasani
• Monday 2nd July 2012 at 7.30
CONFLICT AND CONCILIATION
with 5 writers from conflicted areas
Can victims of conflict ever engage in conciliation? Is forgetting impossible?
Music by the fantastic Antonio Riva's "Le Gazhikane Muzikante" Band
Aydin Mehmet Ali was born in Cyprus. Her short stories and translations of poetry have appeared in international anthologies and journals. She has set up empowerment projects in the UK and Cyprus focusing on young people, women, education and the Arts. She is a passionate intellectual activist for justice in multicultural, multilingual communities. She is the author of Turkish Speaking Communities and Education - no delight (2001), editor and translator of Turkish Cypriot Identity in Literature (1990) and advisory editor to Cadences. Pink Butterflies/Bize Dair (2005) is her collection of short stories and sister’s poetry. Forbidden Zones, a selection of her short stories and creative pieces is due out in 2012.
Thomas Orzsag-Land is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent writing for global syndication mostly from London and his native Budapest. His poetry has been published by the BBC World Service, The New York Times and The London Magazine, his reviews and polemics by The Times Literary Supplement, The Jerusalem Report and Foreign Policy/Washington. His next book will be The Survivors: Holocaust Poetry for Our Time, to be published by Smokestack, 2014; his last one was Christmas in Auschwitz: Holocaust Poetry, translated from the Hungarian of András Mezei, Smokestack, 2010.
Dumi Senda is an internationally recognised multi-award winning poet of Zimbabwean origin nicknamed "Voice of the voiceless". He has performed throughout the world in support of humanitarian causes and has run numerous workshops for chairities, schools, universities and community groups. His poems have been archived at Stanford University as part of the "Poets for Peace" initiative and he used to teach children in Kampala, Uganda.
Yuyutsu R.D Sharma is a distinguished poet and translator. He has published nine poetry collections including, Milarepa’s Bones, 33 New Poems, (Nirala, New Delhi 2012)and Nepal Trilogy, (www.Nepal-Trilogy.de, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010). Visiting Poet this spring at New York University, in June, he will participate as Guest Poet at the Poetry Parnassus Festival organised to celebrate London Olympics 2012. Half the year, he travels the world to read from his works and conduct creative writing workshop at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home in Nepal.
Edin Suljic was born in a multicultural, multi-ethnic part of former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina. He arrived in the UK at the onset of the tragic Yugoslavian war in 1991. His creative output ranges from producing short films and theatre projects to photography and writing for film, short stories and poetry. He has worked with young people, in England, on summer camps and in schools with Exiled Writers Ink and Academi. His most recent theatre project, ‘Writing Home”, performed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was in collaboration with writers from London and Mostar and Tuzla under the umbrella of Exiled Writers Ink.
Music by the fantastic Antonio Riva's "Le Gazhikane Muzikante" Band
Hosted by Shereen Pandit, writer
• Monday 11th June 2012 at 7.30 pm
WORDS OF THE WORLD
Kamila Shamsie- readings and talk by the author and
Sufi Poetry with poems by Rumi and Attar presented by Rafiq Abdulla
is a Pakistani American novelist who writes in the English language. Shamsie's first novel, In The City By The Sea, was published in 1998. Her second novel, Salt and Saffron, followed in 2000, after which she was selected as one of Orange's 21 Writers of the 21st century. Her fifth novel Burnt Shadows was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her books have been translated into a number of languages.She is also a reviewer and columnist - primarily for The Guardian.
He has published two books of poetry based on the Sufi poets Rumi and Attar. A writer, poet, public speaker, and broadcaster on a number of topics. He has been trustee of the Poetry Society and Planet Poetry and is a trustee of English PEN. He is also currently an Associate Non-Executive Director of South West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust. In 1999, Raficq was awarded an MBE for his interfaith work.
Burmese, a former political prisoner, artist, comedian, performance artist and writer. He currently lives in London where he is working on a number of arts projects connected to Burma, and his own practice.
• Monday 14th May 2012 at 7.30 pm
LITERATURE THAT WOULD BE TABOO CENSORED OR DANGEROUS IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
HAMID ISMAIL from UZBEKISTAN
Uzbek poet and writer forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992, since when he lives in the UK and works at the BBC World Service. He is a prolific writer of prose and poetry, and his books have been published in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages; his works are banned in Uzbekistan.. He has also translated Russian and Western classics into Uzbek, and Uzbek and Persian classics into Russian and some Western languages. His novel The Railway, written before he left Uzbekistan, was the first to be translated into English by Robert Chandler and published in 2006. BBC World Service appointed him a first Writer in Residence with a blog on www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/writer
MEHRANGIZ RASSAPOUR FROM IRAN
Mehrangiz Rassapour (M. Pegah) is a poet, literary critic and editor of Vajeh (cultural and literary magazine). Her first book of poetry is entitled Jaragheh Zood Mimirad (Spark Dies At Once) published inIran in 1990. This was followed by her second collection . . And Then The Sun (. . . Va Sepass Aftaab)published in England. Her third book Beyond The Flight Of The Bird (Parandeh Digar,Nah)published inGermany, won great acclaim. Her works have been published in several languages, such as English, (by poet and translator Robert Chandler), French, German, Norwegian and various others. She was on the executive committee of ‘Iranian Writers in Exile’.
HAIM BRESHEETH FROM ISRAEL
Haim Bresheeth is a prominent anti-Zionist activist who is a poet, filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar at the University of East London. He His films include 'State of Danger' (1989, BBC2), a documentary on the first Palestinian Intifada. His books include Introduction to the Holocaust (1997) and his edited volumes include The Gulf War and the New World Order, (with Nira Yuval-Davis) (Zed Books, 1992) and Third Text (September, 2006) on Palestinian and Israeli Art, Photography, Architecture and Cinema (co-edited with Haifa Hammami).
N. DHARGYAL FROM TIBET
is a poet whose book is entitled The Jasmine Revolution and other poems. He uses poetry as the tool to raise awareness about Tibet and brings a unique perspective to his work; to N. Dhargyal poetry represents both a channel for drawing support to his country’s struggle for independence and an antidote for dealing with his own frustration at being stateless.
Music by the fantastic Antonio Riva's "Le Gazhikane Muzikante" Band
• Monday 2nd April 2012 at 7.30 pm
WHERE DO WE BELONG? LATIN AMERICA-LONDON
Barbara L. Lopez : Colombian poet and writer will present some of her poems in Spanish and English.
Luz Mar: Colombian poet will share her latest work.
Sofia Buchuck: Peruvian poet and song writer will present her latest poems "Respect the Pachamama- Mother Earth". Her songs are symbolic of the Andean heritage with influences such as Violeta Parra performed in collaboration with other artists.
Calu Lema: Visual artist-writer will present some of her narratives reflecting themes of London life.
Giovanna Quintero: With a reflective short history of Bucay, a celebrated Colombian writer on the theme of love.
Jorge Elkin Gonzales: From Colombia, photographer and poet will share his poetry in both languages.
Martha Nubia Beltran: Colombian poet will perform her poetry on living in London.
Two visual artist,Luz Acevedo from Colombia and Soraya Fernandez from Ecuador, will share their art.
Sevillana Dance by: Nelly and Inmaculada Marin from Spain.
HOST: poet,short story writer and playwright BART WOLFFE
• Monday 5th March 2012 at 7.30 pm
The Post Exile Poetry Evening gathered together four poets, a musician and a full house at the Poetry Cafe on Monday 5th March. We have been working on the theme of post exile for over six years. With the accompanying theme of bilingualism, Amarjit Chandan read his poetry in Punjabi and English, Julija Gulbinovic in Lithuanian and English, Abol Froushan in English from Persian. Stephen Silverwood performed his poetry and also prepared this recording of the evening to keep the vibes alive.You can hear it in the link below: http://www.refugeeradio.org.uk/audio/2012refrad-91-exile.mp3
• Monday 6th February 2012 at 7.30
MARKED BY FAITH: PERSECUTED FOR RELIGIOUS BELIEF
Adnan al-Sayegh is from Iraq where his criticism of oppression led to exile. He was sentenced to death after he published 'Uruk's Anthem', a book-length poem, and took refuge in Sweden. Eleven collections of his poetry in Arabic have been published. He has won several internaitonal awards and his poetry has been translated into many languages. Exiled Writers Ink published a translation of his work entitled The Deleted Part (2009).
Pete Godismo is from Nigeria. He is a poet, playwright, short story writer, essayist and actor/director. His two volumes of poetry are A Snake in the King's Palace and Miffed. He has performed his work at numerous events and festivals.
Yvonne Green is an observant Jew born in England in 1957. All her grandparents originated in the Central Asian Emirate of Boukhara, her mother was born and raised in British Egypt, her father was born in Berlin, raised in Paris, incarcerated at Gurs and later held as a British P.O.W. at St. Denis. Yvonne's publications include, Boukhara, a 2008-9 Smith/Doorstop prizewinner, The Assay, (Smith/Doorstop 2010), After Semyon Lipkin, (Smith/Doorstop 2011) a Poetry Book Society award winner.
and others to be announced.
MUSICby Alexander Hart playing the Okinawan Sanshin.
Hosted by Chinwe Azubuike
• Monday 9th January 2012 at 7.30
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
Eric Ngalle Charles (Cameroon)
Abol Froushan (Iran)
Bart Woolfe (Zimbabwe)
Ali Abdolrezaei (Iran)
Fathieh Saudi (Jordan)
and others to be announced.
MUSIC BY LONDON GYPSY ORCHESTRA MEMBERS
Hosted by Navid Hamzavi.
• Monday 5th December 2011 at 7.30
UNSILENCED VOICES: ROMANI VOICES
Mike Cheslett author of In a Mirror at Midnight, a collection of adult fairy stories.
Janna Eliot writes about Romani life, and has translated two books about the Roma Holocaust: Settela about a Dutch gypsy girl killed in Auschwitz and her second volume of short stories, The Gypsy Piano Tuner, will be published next year, as will her translation of Sofia Z, by Gunilla Lundgren, a graphic novel about a Polish Roma girl who survived the concentration camps. She is also author of Spokes and three Romani story poems for children.
Valdemar KalininRom writer following the Russian Roma Literary School. He is the author of the poetry collection Romany Dreams written in Belorussian, English and Romany: in Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. He was awarded the Hiroshima Prize for Peace and Culture in 2002 and the Roma Literary Award by the Open Society Instittue of Budapest in 2003. He has also written a translation of the Bible in Romany language.
Damian Le Bas ("Danes") poet, was born in 1985 to a large Romany Traveller family from the south coast of England. He read Theology at Oxford University, graduating first in his year in 2006. Damian's poetry has appeared in Magma and the TLS, and he writes drama and journalism with a special interest in Romany and Irish Traveller issues. 'Danes' also writes in his native English Romani tongue, which mistaken academics believe is now a dead language. The poet David Morley says Damian's poetry "fizzes with life" but " doesn't give away trade secrecies".
Music by Antonio Riva's "Le Gazhikane Muzikante" band
Cover of 'Settela's Last Road' - a novel by Janna Eliot
Exiled Writers Ink support and give a platform to exiled writers from around the world. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along to one of their monthly readings at the Poetry Cafe. She heard some Romani voices, and they certainly hadn't been silenced.
It was a striking audience flamboyantly dressed: black hats, beards, dark skins, green eyes. I joined a scattering of Anglo-Saxon looking ladies at the back of the small basement room.
The evening began with Antonio Riva's band Le Gazhikane Muzikante: 'the Non-Gypsy Musicians' who play Gypsy music “just because it is amazing.” By the end of the first haunting, life-affirming song I was inclined to agree. Antonio Riva sung in the many different Roma languages, translating only a few fragments: “Please don't wake up. Wait for the sun to rise on Romani people.” At the end of the set, Anthony Riva introduced 'Opa Cupa': the song, he said, was known amongst all travelling people. I noted a darkhaired girl in front of me listen intently, look down, shake her head.
Valdemar Kalenin was the first of four writers. He read first in English then Romani, with no need to glance at his lengthy collected works. He spoke of the conflict between a gypsy son seeking an education “newspaper under his arm”and the traditional father: “who will look after the horses?” In Romani the poem became spellbinding.
The spell was broken by Janna Eliot, a British Gypsy from London, who read from her novel for young adults 'Settela's Last Road.' Based on the true story of a young Sinti girl killed in Auschwitz, it was painfully direct in its style. Janna Eliot, who also teaches Gypsy dance, read with a dancer's lightness, finishing with a simple, lyrical description of the moment of Settela's extermination: “there was a song that would never stop singing.”
Poet Damien le Bas followed on with some virtuoso wordplay. In 'Words I Like' he effortlessly juggled English Romani with Latin and Greek in order to “feed my needy traveller brain.” As poet David Morley says, Damien's poetry “fizzes with life....but doesn't give away trade secrets.” In the most memorable poem of the evening, Damien described a gypsy wedding in the New Forest, in “the lilac tint of the Hampshire dust” lacking “only of hautiness/ perhaps some thin unknowable inscription.”
The final reader was Mike Cheslett, who read his comic adult fairy story 'In a Mirror at Midnight', in which a refreshingly feisty heroine cuts off her Dad's head. Following the theme of the night, even the severed head started to sing.
The evening finished with 'Le Gazhikane Muzikante'. As another extraordinary song began, the dark-haired girl in front of me nodded deeply and began singing. The chairs were pushed to one side, as Janna Eliot offered to lead everyone in a gypsy dance. Some of the audience melted away. I felt privileged to have heard these varied, haunting, lively voices. But it was time to leave.
• Monday 7th November 2011 at 7.30
EXILED WRITERS INK PRESENTS THE MONTHLY EXILED LIT
Across the Divide: An evening of women poets and writers of diverse backgrounds
Presented by Lynette Craig
Mediah Ahmed was born in London and her parents are of Pakistani origin. She has a PhD in Biophysics from Queen Mary's. She has only recently started writing poetry after attending the Exiled Writers' Ink Writing workshops.
Irene Fick was born in London to communist refugees from fascist Germany. She was brought up in Düsseldorf and returned to Britain at the age of 22. Except for Marmite and baked beans she regards herself as fully integrated into Britain and, more specifically, into the British left and feminist movements.
Alia' Afif Sifri Kawalit was born in Jordan.She is currently doing her PhD in creative writing under the supervion of Prof Janet Montefiore and Dr David Herd. She worked as a lecturer at Petra University in Jordan. She has her work published in Route 57and Petra Voices and was recently featured in Manchester's Not Part of Festival. In addition, she participates in various open mics around the UK.
Amina Lachowska left her motherland Poland first for Dublin, then Czech Rep. and since 2006 been living in London. A Ullysses in hijab, she tries unsuccesfuly to grow up, understand what it means "to be", seeking an exile in Arabic, where there is no such verb. Unconditionally loves mingling in words (writer), colours (painter) and the theatre. Conditionally loves people who enjoy drawing lines in the lives of others.
Esther Lipton is a a lawyer by profession. Published poet. Currently working on a first book of her poems.
Lara Popovic is a 25 year old Serbo-Dutch writer and visual artist. She was born in Australia, the daughter of a refugee. Lara left home at seventeen to wander the world. London is now her permanent base.
Dr.Shadab Vajdi is an Iranian linguist, poet and retired academician. Her works of poetry, in Persian, have been translated into English, German and Swedish.DistantMelodies is the second English anthology of her poems.
Jorge Salgado Rocha was born in Chile and came as a refugee to Britain in 1974. He he has published 8 books.
• Monday 3rd October 2011 at 7.30
VOICES FROM ARAB SPRING
An evening of poets, writers and musicians from Lybia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen and Lebanon
Alphabet of the Arab Spring by Dia Batal
Nouri Jarrah:poet and writer from Syria, has lived in exile for more than 20 years. His poetry is widely published in the Arab world with 8 poetry collections. He is director of The Centre for Arabic Geographical Literature.
Jiumah Bukleb: poet, novelist and journalist from Libya, has published several books of poetry and novels in Arabic, widely read through his regular writings in magazines. He has lived in exile for over 20 years.
Mohammed Jumeh: poet and columnist from Yemen. Hehas a PhD in text translation and won the Yemen prize for Young Poets in 1999.
Wissam Boustany: International flutist from Lebanon, one of only a few flutists to have launched a successful career as an international soloist, Wissam Boustany is a performer who inspires audiences with his energetic and communicative music-making. Wissam continues to use his music as a powerful healing force to open the doors of inspiration between people and nations, and help us reflect on our common humanity. Chairman of the British Flute Society.
• Monday 5th September 2011 at 7.30
VOICES AGAINST SUPPRESSION - An evening of theatre from Zimbabwe
"Two Men on a Bench" is a dark comedy that tells of two souls dispossesed of their world by the Mugabe regime. It was first performed riskily in Harare in the mid-nineties and is the work of Zimbabwean playwright, Bart Wolffe who will be reading the play alongside Handsen Chikowore, a Zimbabwean who spent five years in exile as an asylum seeker before being accepted in the UK.
Handsen Chikowore is a poet with work published in journals and magazines in many countries. He first started his poetry writing as a hobby at the tender age of twelve and has continued with it ever since as an outlet for expression that he believes both informing and entertaining. He performed in Exiled Writers Ink production 'A Mouthful of Africa'.
Bart Wolffe is also a self-imposed exile from Zimbawe with a long history of writing, acting, directing and producing for television, radio, film and theatre throughout southern Africa and has had six of his plays performed in London and Edinburgh. He is also a novelist and poet and recently ran a series of workshops with refugee children in Croydon culminating in a performance of the piece; "Where do I belong?"
The second half of the evening is hoping to have a guest producer from Zimbabwe, Daves Guzha, talking of his vision of expressing the voice of the suppressed through drama. Daves runs a organisation in Zimbabwe, Rooftop Promotions, that has done much for freedom of expression in the country and established Harare's "Theatre in the Park" .
Daves' cast for his recent production, "Rituals" was due to perform in Edinburgh this August but were denied visas. The same cast for his show have been arrested several times in recent months for the risks they have taken in performing under the restrictions of extreme censorship of expression in a country where no independent media is allowed to freely operate.
We also may be fortunate enough to have the British Theatre director, Giles Ramsay, speaking of his recent work in Zimbabwe where he directed an African version of "Oedipus tyrannus". Giles, a RADA alumni, is the founding director of the charity Developing Artists which is dedicated to creating new work in developing countries.
• Monday 1st August 2011 at 7.30
My Freedom, My Bondage
Being an immigrant or living in exile, is like the two sides of a coin; We leave home for various reasons with a sense of freedom yet remain emotionally in captivity. I am using this theme to ascertain how artistes and writers deal with this forlorn feeling.
Chinwe Azubuike, poet, host for the evening
Adnan al-Sayegh was born in al-Kufa, Iraq in 1955. One of the most original voices of his generation, he has published ten collections in Arabic, including the 500 page poem ‘Uruk’s Anthem’ and has received several international awards. He has read his poetry across Europe and the Arab world, at the Medellín Festival in Colombia and in Cuba. The uncompromising lyricism of his poetry forced him to leave Iraq in 1996 and he has lived in exile since then, first in Sweden and after 2004 in London.
Oreet Ashery is a Jerusalem born, London based, interdisciplinary artist working across performance, photography, video, objects and writing. She has published three books: The Novel of Nonel and Vovel (Charta, 2009) an expanded project with the Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour, which included public events, exhibitions, performances and film programmes; Dancing with Men: Interventions, Interactions and Other Artworks (Live Art Development Agency, 2009); and Staying: Dream, Bin, Soft Stud and Other Stories (Artangel, 2010), a participatory project with women seeking asylum in the UK due to the conditions surrounding their sexual orientation in their respective countries.
Alfredo Cordal was born in Chile and is an established performance poet and playwright. In Santiago he produced literary programmes for televison. He has produced several plays in London including 'The Last Judgement', 'The Investiture of El Dorado' and 'A Passion in Buenos Aires' . His poetry has been widely published and performed.
Chris Gutkind Born in The Hague to an American mother and father who escaped to Britain as a German-Jewish refugee, he first lived in Canada, moving to London in 1988. His first collection of poems is entitled Inside to Outside (Shearsman 2006). His poetry has been widely published in UK poetry magazines and is also included in The Stumbling Dance (Stride 1994).
• Monday 4th July 2011 at 7.30 at the Poetry Cafe
Personal and Collective Resistance 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX (Covent Garden tube)
Writers from Syria, Yemen, Iran and Iraq express a range of resistances from innermost personal resistance to collective resistance.
is an Iraq poet, translator and journalist. He has published several books of poetry and translation. Some of his poems were translated into German, Spanish, Kurdish, Persian and English. He has lived in London since 1994 and works as head of the cultural department of the daily London-based Asharqalawsat. He is also editor-in-chief of the quarterly cultural magazine Aqwas.
Mohammed Jumeh from Yemen, is apoet and columnist and has a PhD in text translation. He won the President of Yemen prize for Young Poets in 1999.
Ziba Karbassi was born in Tabriz, northwestern Iran. She had to leave her country with her mother in the mid-1980s when she was a young teenager and for most of the time since then she has lived in London. She has published seven books of poetry in Persian and two books in English and Italian and is widely regarded as the most accomplished Persian poet of her generation. She has read her work widely across Europe and America. Last year she won the Golden Apple poetry price for Azerbaijan. Translations by Stephen Watts have appeared in such journals as Poetry Review and Modern Poetry Translation.
Richard Sherwin: Special Visiting Guest
Richard is a poet from Israel where he taught Literature at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. One of his particular interests is Biblical Literature.
• Monday 6th June 2011 at 7.30 at the Poetry Cafe
Exile: what is the silver lining?
Hosted by Andrea Pisac
Exile has traditionally been perceived as one of the most tragic conditions that a person can experience. In many respects this is the truth – vast volumes have been written to attest to that. Yet, as I socialised with people who had spent a considerable number of years in exile, I noticed we could all find a silver lining to the cloud of exile. So is there a positive side to living in exile? If the home that was once known is lost, is there something that is gained too? I ask these writers to enagege with these ideas through reading of their poetry and prose.
Paulina Egle Pukyte is n artist, writer, poet, essayist, and cultural commentator. She has a BA from the Vilnius Academy of Art and an MA from the London Royal College of Art. Her first book Jų papročiai (Their Habits) was published in 2005. Her second book – ‘a string of very short stories and other texts’ Netikras zuikis (Fake Rabbit) was published in 2008 and shortlisted for the Book Of The Year award in Lithuania. Paulina lives in London and Vilnius.
Edin Suljić was born in a part of ex-Yugoslavia which is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied science, but always stayed connected with the theatre. He found a way to communicate observations through writing, photography and short films. He has lived in the UK since 1991. He worked for the Royal Court Theatre in London.
Tena Štivičić is a London-based Croatian playright whose work has been produced in over ten European countries. Her play Fragile! won several international awards. In the UK she has worked with Paines Plough, Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, BBC Radio4, New Wolsey Ipswich and The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. She published two widely-read books of columns in Croatia. Her play Seven days in Zagreb was part of the Orient Express, a European Theatre Convention project touring Europe in 2009.
Guest: Esther Kamkar was born in Iran in 1947 and has lived the USA since 1973. In 2001 she received an Artist Grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation to publish a collection of her poetry Hummingbird Conditions in a letterpress limited edition, to be used as sample books to teach children poetry and handmade bookmaking. She also received a grant from the Clay and Glass Arts Foundation (2003) for her project Personal Narratives in Poetry and Clay.
• Monday 9th May 2011 at 7.30 at the Poetry Cafe
Voices of The Second Generation of Exiles and Immigrants
David Clark is the child of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s. His PhD focused on Jewish museums. He contributes to various cultural magazines inLondon.
Olufemi Hughes is the child of African father and Indian mother, brought up in Scotland. She is an avid poet and is writing her first novel. Olufemi is the founder of ‘Community Dialogue for Change’, which promotes social justice by creating a bridge between different communities. She lives in Brighton.
Alev Adil was born in Cyprus and grew up in Turkey, Cyprus and London. Her published collection of poetry is Venus Infers (2004). She is head of the Department of Critical and Communication Studies, University of Greenwich.
Alison Prager, born in London, is the daughter of a German Jewish refugee who came to Britain on the kindertransport. She is a communications officer, and an active supporter of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
* Music by Rahila Khalwa, presenter. She sings popular Russian and Japanese songs with the guitar.
Rahila Khalwa, a rootless writer, keeps looking for her place in the desert, recently with the guitar, which she started self-teaching in 2004.
• Thursday 28th April 2011 at 8.30 pm
Railroad Cafe-Restaurant Arts venue, 120-122 Morning Lane, Hackney E9 6LH
Nigar Hasan-Zadeh Poet and philologist of Russian language and literature, she was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has published 3 collections of poetry - On Wings over the Horizon, 2000, Under Alien Clouds, 2004 and Silver. Her latest work, as yet unpublished, is a Sufi fable: Mute Fairy Teller and White Bird Nara. Her poetry is included in the anthologies, Best Russian Women Poets of the 20th century, 2005 and the Anthology of Russian Women Poets, 2006. Her work has been widely translated and she has performed internationally. She has been living in London since 2000.
Ziba Karbassi from Tabriz, Iran has published seven books of poetry in Persian and two books in English and Italian and is widely regarded as the most accomplished Persian poet of her generation. Last year she won the Golden Apple poetry price for Azerbaijan. Her poems have appeared in many languages throughout Europe and the UK and US including Poetry Review and Modern Poetry Translation.
Rahila Khalwa, studied English history in Japan, then (white) feminism and social history at Essex, to find herself a lone rootless wanderer, which she remains ever since. She found her niche in the Algerian Sahara, at the wrong time, and still looks for her place in this world. Her writing has appeared in several academic journals such as Journal of Gender Studies, and writers’ magazines including Exiled Ink and The New Writer.
MUSIC BY SIR HENRY BRAN FROM from El Salvador
(Hackney Central Rail Station/ Buses 106, 254, 48, 55 all stop at Hackney Town Hall and it is a 5 minute walk from there).
Eat beforehand if you wish! Delicious, home-made food.
• Monday 4th April 2011 at 7.30
Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX
Celebrating Africa: Poetry and Music
Jean-Pierre Faziry Mafutala
is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Inspired by the story-telling tradition, he echoes the suffering experiences of displaced people worldwide. His poems are published in the collection Speaking in Other Tongues. After completing higher education at the University of Kinshasa, he joined the Civil Service. He has lived in London with his family for several years. He studied Politics with Economics (BA Hons) at Goldsmith’s University of London. He has been involved in community work from 2000. He is the vice chairman of ASCOP (African Swahili Community Project).
Chinwe Azubuike is a poet from Nigeria. She first came to the world's attention in 2004 when she gave a talk on female circumcision for the BBC World Service. She has participated in various poetry readings throughout London. Presently, she is running a campaign worldwide, against the victimisation and deprivation of human rights of "the Widow" in Nigeria. She has written extensively on the subject with essays and poetry, and spoken at major Human Rights events most recently, Amnesty International, London. She is currently working on a documentary about Widows entitled "Death of a Husband."
Dele Osunsami is a young poet who lives in Hackney, East London. His poetry is featured in Poetry That Speaks For Itself. Drawing inspiration from daily tussles and victories, his poetry offers a candid, poignant and lyrically supportive canvas upon which those emerging from struggles of their own can paint a depiction of hope. He is currently at the London Metropolitan University studying to become a Sports Therapist.
Allison Lindner is a poet born in Guyana, South America. Her poems have been published in Guyana, Canada; and most recently in the UK by United Press. She has run writing workshops at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She is currently a member of the London Writer's Collective, 'Malika's Kitchen' which she juggles with her legal studies.
Maya Naidoo, barrister and writer. Maya writes poetry and short fiction, and is the author, with her mother Beverley Naidoo, of "Baba's Gift".
Abayomi Odubanjo a.k.a. Stealth, is a young artist. Stealth has been making music for the past 6 years, and has many accolades, some such as: Working with mobo award winning artists Guvna b and Victizzle.
Abayomi is also a student, studying Real Estate And Property Management.
Organised and hosted by Shereen Pandit, writer.
£2 EWI members; £4 others
• Thursday 24th February 2011 at 8.30 (Railroad Cafe)
EXILED LIT CAFE EAST
The Night of Exiled Writers
We are hoping this will become a regular monthly event.
The concept is a mix and a dialogue between the lived and imagined experience, to include poets/writers who are displaced in some way and write on themes of exile, or translate the work of others, even if they are not themselves exiles or refugees.
Aydin Mehmet-Ali was born in Cyprus. She is an award-winning author and her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile. Her first short story collection was entitled Pink Butterflies/Bize Dair (2005). She is also an international education consultant, project manager and researcher.
Carlos Reyes-Manzo was born in Chile and has been living in exile in the UK since the 1970s. He has been writing poetry since his youth. In 2006 he published, Oranges in Times of Moon, a bilingual edition. He participated in the 2006 Sidaja International Festival of Poetry in Trieste. He has performed his poetry on radio, television and poetry readings.
Jude Rosen is an independent researcher and writer on urban culture and citizenship, a translator and poet. She has had poems published magazines, in anthologies Oxfam Poems for a Better Future (2005) and This Little Stretch of Life(Hearing Eye, 2006) and her pamphlet A Small Gateway was published by Hearing Eye, 2009. Currently, she is working on a long poem, Reclamation, on the voices and narratives from the marshlands and industries of the Lower Lea Valley, East End and Olympic borderlands, part of which was performed in Hackney Museum in December 2007.
MUSICby the talented, versatile Henry Bran from El Salvador and his guests
Railroad Cafe-Restaurant-Arts venue
120-122 Morning Lane, Hackney E9 6LH
(Buses 106,254,48 and 55 all stop at Hackney Town Hall and it is a 5 minute walk from there).
• Monday 7th February 2011 at 7.30
What Became of Romania?
Poetry and Music
Monica Lucia Madas - singer and poet
From Romanian traditional songs with jazz improvisation, to acoustic, folk and experimental, electronic, concrete.
Adina Tarry, born in Romania, left to become a “global expatriate”. In 2000 she first published her writings in Bucharest. Now based in London she is an organisational consultant, coach, business psychologist and associate lecturer.
is an award winning poet born in Romania. She has also published essays, reviews, short stories and translations. Published poetry: Travellers/Calatori (2001) Pilgrims/Pelerini (2002)Bequests/Mosteniri (2003) Soapte (2005) Vise la minut (2008) PoemsUK (2009).
Bashir Sakhawarz is a special guest on a flying visit to London. He is an established writer from Afghanistan who has written six books of prose and poetry and whose English works have appeared in many anthologies and literary magazines. He was awarded first prize for poetry in Afghanistan. He works in and travels to many countries in the world.
•Monday 10th January 2011 at 7.30
Oppressed Coverage Exposed ‘I don’t belong inside / your cage of coverage. / I’m not in the news. / Get me out of here’ (Imtiaz Dharker, The Terrorist at my Table. Tarset: Bloodaxe, 2006. 47).
The Western media demonises and stereotypes many countries. Male poets from Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Pakistan provide their own, personal insights.
Handsen Chikowore is a Shona speaking poet from Zimbabwe. He participated in Exiled Writers Ink's theatre production 'A Mouthful of Africa'.
Zabih Hassan is a poet who has published three collections of traditional poetry in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is a practising GP from Partika in southern Afghanistan.
Arsalan Isa: 'I was born at twenty-six minutes to eight, and three and a half kilometers away from the moon. I was born in a spoon and slipped out into the deep end.'
Dumi Senda, nicknamed Voice of the voiceless, is a performance poet, activist and humanitarian of Zimbabwean origin. Publications include the Sun & Snow anthology - bringing together Canadian and African poets to raise funds for a hospital in Ghana, a German journal Zimbabwe Netzwork and various online journals and articles.
Mojawer Ahmad Zyar born in Afghanistan, is a linguist, prolific writer in Pashto, German and English and has compiled over 100 dialects of Pashto and other Afghan languages. Reviving Pashto as a global language, he introduced Pashto free style poetry.
MUSIC BY Farhad (tbc) From Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Farhad plays a range of instruments including the rubab, tablaa and tambur.
• Monday 6th December 2010 at 7.30 pm
An evening of poetry and literature with writers from Kosova and the UK
A new country is born: London taxis in Pristina, Kosova
Elizabeth Gowing is a travel writer, journalist and translator who divides her time between the UK and Kosovo. She was shortlisted for this year’s Independent on Sunday travel writing award and her Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo will be published early next year. She is now working onEdith and I, a book narrating travels on the trail of Edith Durham through London, Kosovo and Albania, having contributed to The Blaze in the Balkans, the collected writings of Edith Durham, which is published by IB Tauris in February 2011.
Teuta Skenderi was born in Prizren, Kosova. She studied literature and languages in her homeland and performed in several theatre productions before coming to London in the early 90's where she continued and finished her studies. She is involved in the art scene, acting, publishing and translating poetry that is one of her permanent passions. Teuta is currently working on a collection of poems entitled "Monochrome Dreams"
Valbona Ismaili Luta from Kosova, had her first poems published when she was a teenager. She used to write for a student newspaper, 'Bota e re', in Prishtina. Now she has a regular column in a Kosova Albanian monthly magazine, 'Teuta'. Her work has been published in several anthologies: Crossing the Border; Kosova Sharing the Pain (co-edited with Jennifer Langer), Home and Away Diaspora Voices by Index on Censorship, etc. She is a member of Exiled Writers Ink (London).
Organised by Valbona Ismaili Luta
•Thursday 4th November 2010 at 7.30 pm
Polymorphic Poetry by Exiled Poets
Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma
Special visiting guest: Nepalese poet, has published seven poetry collections including Annapurna Poems, (Nirala, New Delhi 2008), Everest Failures (White Lotus Book Shop, Kathmandu, 2008) Way To Everest: A Photographic and Poetic Journey to the Foot of Everest, (Epsilonmedia, Germany, 2006) a translation of Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh poetry in Nepali in a bilingual collection entitled Kathmandu: Poems, Selected and New, 2006 and a translation of the work of Israeli poet, Ronny Someck, into Nepali .Yuyutsu’s own work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.
Ali Abdolrezaei (experimental poet from Iran, member of the London Skool movement of post-exile)
Abol Froushan (experimental poet from Iran and member of the London Skool)
Elizabeth Faitarone - dance poetry fusion (Argentina).
Maryam Hashemi who recently held an exhibition at the Canal Museum, London and has appeared in documentaries on artists in exile, will be exhibiting some of her paintings as backdrop.
Hosted by Abol Froushan
• Monday 4th October at 7.30 pm
The Forgotten Buddha: Voices of Afghan Writers
Dedicated to Berang Kohdamani: the famous Afghan exiled poet who lived in London
Mahmud Nazariis a former Nangarhar University lecturer in Agriculture, an active writer and satirist. From 1992 to 1996 he was head of the government fruit improvement department in Afghanistan. He is the author of over 20 books in Pashto and Dari, published between 1993 and the present time. www.tanzona.com
Shabibi Shah was born in Kabul. She has a degree in journalism from Kabul University and taught for 12 years at the Women's Institute in Kabul. She came to the UK in 1984 as a refugee with her family. She has always been involved with refugees as an interpreter and is currently working with the Ruth Hayman Trust and the Afghan Paiwand Association.
Karim Shirin came to the UK in 1994 from Laghman. He writes poetry in Pushtu and began writing seriously four years ago. He is Chairman of the Afghan Association.
Ayesha Tarzi came to England from Kabul in 1980. She is author of the novel Red Death (1985) and The Night Letter. She worked for the Inner London Probation Service.
Ahmad Zayar came to the UK from Jalalabad in 1997. He was professor of Linguistics at Kabul and Jalalabad universities.He writes in Pushtu and has published seventeen collections of poetry.
Hosted by Jennifer Langer and Mayvand Faqir Ahmad
• Monday 10th May at 7.30 pm
West of the River Jordan with Arab and Israeli writers performing their work + Music with
Lina Abu Baker
She was born in Kuwait in 1973. She has published two poetry books, 2000,
and 2005. She is a columnist for Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper and has participated in numerous cultural, political and human rights events and anti-war campaigns in Jordan, Algeria, Dubai, Paris, Morocco and London. Rabai Al Madhoun
was born in Al-Majdal Askalan, Palestine in 1945. He has been working in the media since 1975. He is author of The Idiot of Khan Younis; short stories (Arabic language), Beirut 1977, The Palestinian Uprising: Method and Structure , 2 editions; Sharq Press, Nicosia-Cyprus 1988 and Dar Al-Aswar-Akko, Israel 1989, TheTaste of Separation (autobiography), Arab Institute for Research and Publishing - Beirut and Amman 2001. The Lady from Tel Aviv, (novel) , 3 editions, Arab Institute for Research and Publishing -Beirut and Amman 2009, 2010. The novel was shortlisted IPAF 2010. Haim Bresheeth Professor Bresheeth is a filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar at the University of East London. He is also a poet. He was Dean of the School of Media, Film and Cultural Studies at Sapir College, Israel. His books include Introduction to the Holocaust (1997) and Holocaust for Beginners (1993). His edited volumes include The Gulf War and the New World Order, (with Nira Yuval-Davis) (Zed Books, 1992), Cinema and Memory:Dangerous Liaisons, co-edited with Zand, S and Zimmerman, M Jerusalem, Zalman Shazar Centre (Hebrew) 2004, and Third Text (September, 2006) on Palestinian and Israeli Art, Photography, Architecture and Cinema (co-edited with Haifa Hammami). His films include 'State of Danger' (1989, BBC2), a documentary on the first Palestinian Intifada.
With music by Yalla! - the female fight back against discrimination, racism and inequality - today brings you a condensed version of their full line-up; a fusion of hip-hop poetry, Arabic beats and klezmer melodic lines - from different ethnic backgrounds and musical styles.
Feat. Muneera Rashida (Vox, Lyrix)
Hosted by Shereen Pandit
• Monday 12th April at 7.30
From One Exile To Another: The Caribbean Connection
painting ‘The Four Horsemen’ by Tyrone Bravo
Historian and literary activist. Has been part of CAM (Caribbean Artists Movement) and CACOEU (Caribbean Communities in Europe) and many more. Author of ‘Journey to an Illusion’(1966, 2001). He has been part of important developments in postcolonial Caribbean-British literature. Early post-war worker from Jamaica.
Freelance writer/editor and published poet, with experience of producing work for magazines and poetry anthologies. She is editor of Brown Eyes (2005) and Sexual Attraction Revealed (2007), both Shangwe produced anthologies of creative expressions by black and mixed-race women. Member of the Society of Authors. Born in London of Guyanese and English parentage. www.shangwe.com
Accomplished storyteller and poet. Works and performs in the community and at the British Museum and founder of WAPPY – Writing, Acting, Performing and Publishing for Youngsters – whose latest performance was at the national Huntley Conference. Poetry published in ‘Unheard Voices’(2006) and more. Born in London of Ghanaian parentage.
Zita Holbourne + guest
Performance poet, trade union activist, artist and former vocalist/songwriter. Member of Brothaman Poetry Collective, co-host and resident poet of Nu Whirled Voyces. She is elected to the Public and Commercial Services Union National Executive, ACTSA NEC and the TUC Race Relations Committee and specialises in equality. She recently organised a Poetry 4 Haiti event at the Poetry Café. Born in London of Trinidadian and British parentage.
Poet who has recently begun to explore the Japanese Haiku form, she is an ESOL/EFL teacher who likes to use images to inspire writing in her classes.
Also featured in Nicole Moore’s forthcoming anthology. Born in London of Vincentian and Jamaican parentage.
Long-time activist, trade unionist, university sociology lecturer and poet in London and Sheffield. Writes for ‘Multicultural teaching’ and others; former editor of the African-Centered Review. Race relations speaker, community development and regeneration organiser and more. Born in Barbados.
at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX
Esmail Khoi is one of Iran's most acclaimed poets. For decades now, he has been at the centre of the country's intellectual and aesthetic upheavals. He was educated in Iran and England. His voice, mixing a defiant poetic persona with the philosophical musings of a contemplative intellectual, at home or in the Diaspora, Khoi has fashioned a voice that is both unique and deeply rooted in the best traditions of Persian poetry.
Sahra Iranian folk duo : guitar and vocal
• Monday 1st February at 7.30
THE JEWISH DIASPORA - BABYLON, BELARUS AND BEYOND
Moris (Musa) Farhi, MBE, born Ankara, is a prize-winning, novelist, poet, playwright, TV scriptwriter, essayist and human rights activist. A vice president of International P.E.N, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His novels include ‘Children of the Rainbow’, ‘Young Turk’ and the recently published, ‘A Designated Man’.
Professor Haim Bresheeth, is an Israeli filmmaker, photographer and now film scholar at the University of East London. Writer and poet, his books include ‘Introduction to the Holocaust’. Dr Frank Grozsmann, born Budapest, lived throughout the Nazi Occupation and from 1948, the Communist takeover. Escaped to UK in 1957. A Consulting Engineer by profession he is also a published poet and translator. Ivy Vernon, attended school and university in Baghdad . In 1970 she and her family fled from the terror of Saddam. Her highly acclaimed book 'Bagdad Memories' recalls the life of a Jewish girl and her community against a changing political background.
There will be Jewish music from the Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahi cultures
Hosted by Esther Lipton
• Monday 4th January at 7.30
VOICES AND PERSPECTIVES + MUSIC
Yoruba Man Aghast 2007 (Pastel on paper): Aritst: Francis Akpata
Amanda Epe: Amanda is a London born and bred African of Nigerian-Ghanian heritage. A creative writer at heart, producing essays and poetry and stepping into short stories. She owns two published poems- 'The Diaspora' and 'Afro- Britons'. Her essays are memoirs of personal experiences. She has recently created a space for similar writers to share their experiences and short stories. Life is not all about the pleasure of writing, her regular work is in Education.
Ayo Akinfe: born in Salford, Manchester , is a London-based journalist who has worked as a magazine and newspaper editor for the last 20 years. Spent his key formative years in Nigeria where he saw the kind of horrors poverty, an unfair trading environment, under-development, corruption and mismanagement visits on African countries. Fuelling the Delta Fires, recently published is one of a series of novels aimed at highlighting Africa ’s sorry plight and the misleading image peddled about her.
Handsen Chikowore: Handsen is originally from Zimbabwe and was forced to leave by the Mugabe regime. He started writing poems in Shona when he was 15. His poems have been published in different journals, newspapers and magazines across the globe. Professionally, he is an accountant.
Bryan Bailey: He is black British of Caribean parentage and grew up in England.
I write to be able to share my feelings and express my deepest thoughts. If others can relate, then that makes me happy. I have been "playing about with words" since i was 13 years old. Only recently in the past couple of years being encouraged by friends and family to take a more "serious approach". Either way, its still fun and love coming up with new poems when i can. I'll approach any subject that takes my fancy. Any thing that i feel really passionate about. I have appeared regularly on radio (Roots FM), had poems printed in publications such as the Voice Newspaper and GMag, a bi-monthly entertainment magazine.
Hosted by Chinwe Azubuike and Francis Akpata
• Monday 7th December at 7.30
WE HAVE A DREAM
An evening with writers from Albania, Kosova and the UK
Organised and hosted by Valbona Ismaili Luta
Fatmir Terziu an Albanian writer, critic, journalist and filmmaker. Some of the books he published are: Don't Silence (Mos Hesht) poetry 2000; Walking on Glass (Ecje ne Qelq), poetry 2006; The Argadas Devil (Djalli i Argadasit) short stories 2005; The Mysterious Woman (Misteriozja), short stories 2009; A Different Critique: An Insight Into Albanian Poetry and Prose; Media, Technology and Everyday Life, etc.
Arta Dedaj from Prishtina (Kosova), poet and lawyer, has had her poems published in various literary magazines and papers in Kosova and also in London in “Sharing the Pain” in 1999. She did the Albanian/English translation for the BBC1 Everyman documentary programme “Whose Home is it Anyway” in 1993 and was also published in “Homes and Gardens” exhibition catalogue by Melanie Friend in 1996.
Elizabeth Gowing is a writer of non-fiction books, journalism and poetry. Land of Blood and Honey; my journey to become a beekeeper in Kosova was completed last year. She is now working on Edith and I, a book narrating travels in the footsteps of Edith Durham through London, Kosova and Albania. Her poems have been published in over thirty magazines and anthologies including Staple, Poetry Nottingham International, Ambit, The New Writer and Orbis, as well as being read on the BBC World Service’s Poems by Post.
Robert Wilton, writer and consultant, advisor to two Kosova Prime Ministers in the lead-up to independence, has had his short stories widely-published, along with translations from Albanian. He now divides his time between London, Cornwall and Kosova, focusing, amongst others, on an historical novel.
The evening will be accompanied by Albanian folk music by Eliza and MirditaDedgjonaj.
The evening, to be held on Monday December 7th will also be marking the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Exiled Writers Ink with members talking about their memories of the successful ten years.
• Monday 2nd November at 7.30
an evening of Arabic women authors and musicians
is a Lebanese novelist, short-story writer, and playwright, one of the leading contemporary women writers in the Arab world. Her stories deal with women's role in society, the relationship between the sexes, and the institution of marriage. Her novels have been translated into English, French, Dutch, German, Danish, Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Polish.
is a Syrian writer. She spent her childhood in Kuwait, leaving after the invasion in 1990. She has worked as a journalist since 1979. In 1992 she published a volume of short stories and in 1998 her first novel, The Mirror of Summer, in Cairo. Her second collection of short stories was published in 2003, and her third in 2005.
Hosted by poet: Fathieh Saudi.
• Monday 5th October 2009at 7.30pm
Manoj, poet (India)
Adam Tunji on guitar (Nigeria)
Fathieh Saudi, poet (Jordan)
Andrea Pisac, prose (Croatia)
Ghias Al-Jundi (Syria)
+ OPEN MIC
• Monday 7th September 2009
EXILED FROM TURKISH SPACES
Alev Adil was born in Cyprus and grew up in Turkey, Cyprus and London, where she now lives. Her first collection of poems Venus Infers was published in 2004. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and she has performed her poetry in London and at poetry festivals. Her work has also been broadcast on Radio 4 and Channel 4 in the UK. She is part of Poetz for Peace, a bi-communal UN funded Cypriot writers’ and musicians’ collective. She lectures at the University of Greenwich where she is head of the Department of Creative, Critical and Communication Studies and she is a patron of Exiled Writers Ink.
Kurdish poet and journalist; he writes in Turkish. He was born in a Kurdish town, Batman, in the east of Turkey. He is a sociology graduate of Ankara Hacettepe University. His poems and essays were published in various well known Turkish literature periodicals including Varlik, Defter, Sonra Edebiyat, Kunduz Dusleri and Kavram Karmasa. He won the 1998 Poetry Award of Human Rights Association for his five poems. His first poetry book, titled Suskun Kavallar Medresesi (Madrasa of Silent Reedpipes), was published in 2004. He moved to London in 2005. He is an editor of a Kurdish/Turkish London weekly paper.
Ms Durmush has nine books under her belt. She started to paint when she was mugged and since then has gained a first degree and a Masters in Art. Durmush is good at many things from cooking to art, poetry, short stories and plays.
was born in Eastern Turkey and has lived in the UK since 1990. She is a short story writer and poet and also a Turkish classical music singer who performed with "Group Nihavend" for several years.
Aydin Mehmet Ali
was born in Cyprus. She is an award-winning author and her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile. Her first short story collection was entitled Pink Butterflies/Bize Dair (2005). She is also an international education consultant, project manager and researcher.
• Monday 3 August 2009 at 7:30pm
READING BETWEEN THE LINES
Great new poetry by
Adnan Al-Sayegh (Iraq)
Gareeb Iskander (Iraq)
Maria Jastrzebska (Poland)
Shirin Razavian (Iran)
Music: Gadjo Form Band
Adnan Al-Sayegh: On several occasions, international award-winning poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh’s life has been threatened as a result of his powerful readings in his native Iraq. Forced into exile by militia disturbed by his critical irreverence, his poetry sweeps all of life up into a linguistic call to artistic arms.
Gareeb Iskander: Journalist and poet, Gareeb Iskander pursues his dreams of Baghdad through the mists of London, illustrating his work with poetic themes such as the sea, exile, life and sadness. He uses both ancient Iraqi and contemporary international symbols evocatively.
Maria Jastrzebska: born in Warsaw, lives in Brighton. Her collections include Postcards from Poland, Home from Home, Syrena and I'll be back before you know it. She was co-editor of Forum Polek, a bilingual anthology of women's writing, Poetry South and Whoosh. Her work has been widely translated.
Shirin Razavian’s fourth publication, Which Shade of Blue is currently being published in London. She fled Iran due to censorship and in the UK continues to write politically astute poetry, remaining resolute in her pursuit of human rights.
Music:Gadjo Form: Polish Band: These unsigned gems burst onto the folk scene with melodic effervescence in 2008. Listing Roman, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Polish, Macedonian and Hindu folk music as inspiration, Gadjo Form’s style is full of energy and poignancy. Zuza, Greg and Darek deliver stunning sounds.
Talks, readings and discussions from renowned
and award winning Sri Lankan poets and novelists: their response
through prose and verse to the violence and the clampdown on
freedom of expression in Sri Lanka.
ROHINI HENSMAN, author of the novel Playing
Lions and Tigers, shortlisted
for the Gratiaen Prize (2002), and To Do Something Beautiful.
Active in the labour and women's liberation movements, and
anti-war campaigns and struggles against the oppression of
religious and ethnic minorities in India and Sri Lanka.
SIVAMOHAN SUMATHY, award
winning playwright, poet, writer and film maker, author of In
the Shadow of the Gun. Performed
nationally and internationally her theatre of risk, and received
critical acclaim for her two short films, Piralayam (Upheaval)
and Oranges. Teaches at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Her
sister, Nirmala, will read from her poetry.
LAKSHMI HOLMSTROM, writer and translator, past
Fellow at University of East Anglia. Author of Silappadikaram and Manimekalai, her
re-telling of the fifth-century Tamil narrative poems, editor
of The Inner Courtyard: Short Stories by Indian Women, and
recipient of India's Crossword Book Award. She will read from
her translations of Sri Lankan and Tamil poets, R. Cheran, S.
Sivaramani and others.
Tamil songs : Nirmala Rajasingam.
Hosted by Miriam Frank
• Monday 1 June 2009 at 7:30pm
Risk in Poetry: Literature of Post-Exile: Video clips on YouTube of an amazing evening:
Risk of Poetry delivers a collage of poetry, literary theory,
imagery, fantasy, voices, music, exile, before and long after,
by London S-kool - an avant guarde band of multi-lingual poets
and critics, who aim to create poetry and text
from hybridisation of languages, genres and lifestyles in order
to endanger the tranquillity of norms and shake up the standards
of the literary genre, bringing together Ali Abdolrezaei,
Parham Shahrjerdi, Abol Froushan, Mansor Pooyan, to
propose the new directions in the Risk. Their aim is a globalisation
of poetry through literary exchange between English, Persian, French,
etc. (7 languages in the latest issue of poetrymag.info)
in a context of post exile, through translation and analysis.
with eminent poets: Alev Adil
and exiled poets: Eric Charles (Cameroon) Jorge Salgado (Chile)
Hosted by Mir Mahfuz Ali
• Monday 6th April 2009 at 7.30
'Heartlands: Reflections on Nature'
Mahfuz Ali, (Bangladesh)
Albert Pellicer accompanied by Vicky
- poetry to music Mamoon Alabassi (Iraq) Freddy Macha (Tanzania) - music and poetry Janan Saab (British-Lebanese) Sandra Eros (England) Shanta Acharya (India)
• Monday 2nd
March 2009 at 7.30 pm
The Young Ones
born in many countries
Photos: J. Hazwan
An amazing night of poetry,
rap, drama and music
Osamah Al-Tamimy is
21 years old and is originally from Iraq. He spent only a few
months there due to the instability in his home country, particularly the
hardships and deprivation of daily life resulting from the United
Nations sanctions regime imposed by the US and Britain. His
play, 'Arab in the West' was inspired by his own life and experiences. It
aims to challenge prejudicial assumptions about Arabs and especially,
about young Muslim men, in a climate of hostility and suspicion. 'Arab
in the West' was performed to critical acclaim in five locations
in 2008 including Sloane Square and Ladbroke Grove, London, as
part of the Royal Court Theatre's programme, 'Unheard Voices' and 'Across
the Street, Around the World', organised by the Royal
Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Sahra Mohammed was born in 1987 in Somalia and
came to the UK when
she was five years old, fleeing the civil war with her family.
She had no schooling in Somalia and
feels most comfortable writing in English (the language of
her education). She writes mainly about things that affect
her socially and about Somalia.
She says “I’m no great activist but I find myself
drawn to causes and I have real empathy with anyone who may
have experienced war first hand or anyone who's families may
have been involved in wars or struggles.” Sahra writes
poetry which recently won her a place on a prestigious Arvon
Foundation course. Sahra sees herself as fitting in with the
longstanding Somali tradition of storytelling and is currently
working on short stories.
Fatima Hagi was
born in 1985 in Somalia.
She left her home country due to the civil war that broke out
in 1991, fleeing to Kenya.
She came to London a
year later. Prior to this she had no formal schooling but settled
well into school, quickly learning English and falling “in
love with books and words from an early age”. She has
been since adolescence, both because she found it therapeutic
and to express herself and the way she felt about the world
and the people around me. She writes poetry, short stories
and speeches and is currently taking a degree in English Literature.
Her inspiration, she says, “comes from my mother and
grandmother who started life out as poor nomads and struggled
to make a life for themselves and their children, under the
most extreme circumstances.”
Abdi Bahdon is
a gifted 18-year-old poet, lyricist and actor who was born
He has starred in a film entitled Mash Up,
the ITV series The Bill and a theatre production
entitled Ghetto Faces. Abdi faced appalling
violence in Somalia and
was left with a paralysed arm and broken ribs after being caught
up in a car explosion. He lost his family and friends when
he fled to the UK with
a group of refugees, who later abandoned him. Abdi is currently
studying A levels in Sociology, Physiology and English. Abdi’s
writing is inspired by his horrific experiences and by the
hardship and pain faced by people in his homeland. His poignant
poems appear in Silent Voices.
Daniel Silverstein is
in his twenties and has been writing and performing his own
unique blend of rap/poetry since 2001. Daniel has been an community
activist and youth worker since his teenage years and works
in youth groups, schools and campuses on educational and cultural
events, and especially in interfaith. Hel has performed in
venues and at festivals all over the UK as
well as in the USA, Paris, Budapest and
In 2007 Daniel established Psychosemitic,
a Muslim-Jewish-Middle Eastern events and education agency
that runs programmes to bring people together for education
and celebration. Daniel enjoys combining this work with poetry
and rapping in creative workshops, both on his own and with Mohammed
in his twenties and was born in Mozambique,
but was forced to leave the country during the civil war. He
moved to Portugal,
where he began to show an interest in music, partly due to
his fathers influence as a singer. Being surrounded by poverty,
Mohammed used music and poetry to channel his thoughts, energy
and emotion in a positive manner. Later, having moved to London,
Mohammed met Ironbraydz and formed Blind
Alphabetz, a project which achieved collaborations
and performances with top-level artists such as RZA from The
Wu Tang Clan, M1 from Dead Prez
Mohammed, studied Buddhism, then converted
to Islam following an eye-opening trip to Gambia where
he was touched by the peace and unity of the beautiful people
he met there.
Lines of Faith
Produced and performed by Daniel and Mohammed,
is a fusion of Islamic and Jewish words and music with jazz,
blues, reggae, funk and hip hop, carrying a strong Universalist
message of peace and unity which appeals as much to those of
other and no faiths as to devout (and non!) Muslims and Jews.
Hosted by Shereen Pandit and Aisha
• Monday 23rd February 2009 at 7.30
pm (The previously postponed event on 2nd February will now take
place Upstairs at
the Poetry Place)
LATIN AMERICAN POETRY AND MUSIC
Enchanting Words and Sounds
Sofia Buchuck: music and voice from the memory of Peru
Accordion from Colombia by Flakito.
Sofia will share poems from her last poetry collection Orange
Nights Iin Autumn
Silvia Demetila: music from Argentina
Alfredo Cordal: poetry in exile from Chile
Isabel Ross Lopes: music and poetry from her experiences as
a migrant and diasporic spanish music and voice.
Dante Concha: enchanting panpipes and history of the magical
pipes from Peru.
HOME OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE: AN
EVENING OF AMERICAN EXPATRIATE POETS
Poetry and Musicwith
A cultural migrant from Texas, Amy Corzine
is a poet, writer, editor and teacher. Her poems have been published in 'Kindred
Spirit', 'The Delhi-London Quarterly', 'Caduceus' and literary magazines. She
hopes her new book entitled The Secret Life of the Universe:
The Quest for the Soul of Science (Watkins, UK,
2008) will inspire people to return to the ecological, nature-centric
view our technology-based world has left behind. She aims to
explore psychospiritual realms further, from which she believes all
great works of poetry and fiction come. She has also produced a graphic
novel adaptation for Jane Eyre and a family travel guide Take the
is a London-based American poet, singer and
musician, and half of former Anglo-American indie/folk
duo 'The Dear Janes'. Her poems have appeared in UK print/online
magazines including Magma and The
Interpreter's House and Limelight; and anthologies,
including Four Caves of the Heart (Second Light Publications)
and Gobby Deegan's Riposte (Donut Press). As a singer/musician/writer,
she was one-half of 'The Dear Janes' and continues to work in various
projects, currently as part of the band Vachement Bath.
"The daughter of two 'shrinks', a black man from Chicago and a
Lithuanian Jew, Melanie McKay (nee Shed) was born and raised in Manhattan
where she was not nearly as exotic as she seemed to be during the
last seven years when she lived in Devon. Melanie's poetry and
prose reflect life as she sees it."
• Monday 3rd November 2008
No Exiled Lit Cafe event as we have a high profile
event at The Gallery, Foyles Bookshop. See Activities page.
• Monday 6th October 2008
IF SALT HAS MEMORY
Jewish Exiled Writers:
Gregorio Kohon, poet and novelist from
Argentina, author of Red Parrot, Wooden Leg and a
new collection of poetry.
Moris Farhi, award-winning poet and novelist
born in Turkey, author of Young Turk translated into
many languages, and other works.
Bart Wolffe, eminent Zimbabwean playwright,
poet and writer, author of Persona Non Grata and many
with music and song by Sharon Malyan, Zambian born Jewish
singer performing with her band Butt of Lewis - An alternative
folk-rock band, performing a fusion of Yiddish, reggae,
Latin, tango, and other genres
Hosted by Jennifer Langer, editor
of 'If Salt
Has Memory: Contemporary Jewish Exiled Writers', published
2008, Five Leaves,
• Monday 1st September 2008
• Monday 4th August 2008
A Few Words about Love with Iranian and European Writers
Ziba Karbassi, poet - from Iran Ghazi Rabihavi, playwright - from Iran. Mara
Lockowandt is the director of Ghazi's playlet about the issue of women in
Iran. Rouhi Shafii, prose writer - from Iran Albert Pellicer, poet - from Spain,accompanied by Mark
Matsena - saxophonist. Wlodek Fenrych, poet - from Poland Cristina Vitii, poet - from Italy Stephen Watts, poet - from England
• Monday 7th July 2008
AN EVENING WITH AYDIN MEHMET ALI and VALDEMAR KALININ
EXILED WRITERS INK! presents an evening of poetry and
readings with award winning writers - Cypriotturkish Aydin Mehmet
Ali and Valdemar Kalinin from Belorussia.
Both speakers have written academic books, poems and
stories, and are internationally famous. Aydin is a well known member
of Britain's Cypriot community, while Valdemar plays an active role
in the Roma community in Britain.
Musical acts NIHAVEND perform classical Turkish music
Soulful jazz from Sara and Kal PALINKA play Transylvanian music
• Monday 2nd June 2008
TWO EXILED POETS AND AN EXILED PROSE WRITER:
EXILED WRITERS FROM BANGLADESH, IRAN AND SOUTH AFRICA
Mir Mahfuz Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and studied
at Essex university. He dances, acts, has worked as a male model and
a tandoori chef. He has given readings and performances at the Royal
Opera House and other theatres in Britain and beyond. His poems have
appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Ambit and Exiled Ink.
He is currently preparing his first collection for publication. He
has been working closely with his mentor, Moniza Alvi and was short-listed
for the New Writing Ventures Awards 2007.
Shereen Pandit was a South African lawyer and political activist
before coming into exile in the UK in 1987 where she completed a PhD
in Law. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines
and have won several prizes including the Booktrust London Award.
Her articles and reviews have appeared in several magazines.
Shirin Razavian was born in Tehran where she studied Persian
and English Literature. Because of the censorship and lack of freedom
of expression, she fled her country and started building a new life
in London. She has published three Persian poetry books in London
in 1995, 1999 and 2001. Her Farsi-English book Which Shade of Blue?
is being published in the USA shortly. Shirin has had several radio
and TV interviews with the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Azadi, Radio
Israel and other Persian exiled media.
Their chap books, published 2008 by Exiled Writers Ink, will be available:
A Golden Bowl by Mir Mahfuz Ali, Flamingoes at Sunset by Shereen Pandit
and Free Fall by Shirin Razavian.
Hosted by Nathalie Teitler
• Monday 12th May 2008
Vahni Capildeo born in Trinidad, 1973 came to England in
1991 to study English and then Old Norse. She has worked at Girton
College, Cambridge and at the Oxford English Dictionary, and currently
is a contributing editor at the Caribbean Review of Books. She has
returned often to Trinidad and spent time in Iceland. Books: No Traveller
Returns (Salt, 2003); Person Animal Figure (Landfill, 2005); The Undraining
Sea (looking for a home). Her poems and prose have appeared in various
magazines and anthologies, including Agenda, Oxford Magazine, Poetry
Salzburg, Poetry Wales, Sentence, Stand, Tears in the Fence, The Oxford
Book of Caribbean Verse, London: City of Disappearances (ed. Iain
Sinclair) and Trinidad Noir (Akashic, forthcoming 2008).
Pascale Petit, a renowned poet, she has published
four prize-winning poetry collections and was twice shortlisted for
TS Eliot Prize. Pascale Petit's last two collections, The Zoo Father
and The Huntress, were both shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize. A
poem from The Zoo Father was also shortlisted for the Forward prize
for best individual poem. A Next Generation Poet, she has been Poetry
Editor of Poetry London and tutors at Oxford University and Middlesex
University where she is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Saradha Soobrayen received an Eric Gregory
Award in 2004. Her poems are published in Wasafiri, Poetry Review,
and in the anthologies This Little Stretch of Life (HearingEye), I
am twenty people! (Enitharmon), New Writing 15 (Granta/The British
Council 2007), New Poetries IV, (Carcanet) and the 2007 Oxford Poets
Anthology (Carcanet). Her short fiction appears in Kin: New Fiction
by Black and Asian Women. (Serpents’ Tail, 2003) Saradha facilitates
poetry workshops, mentoring and professional development for writers.
Hosted by Mir Mahfuz Ali.
• Monday 7th April 2008
An evening of Latin American Women: poetry and music "Far from home"
Invited guests: Gisela Jachniuk: Argentinean poetry danced tango by Diana Maria Eugenia Bravo: Chilean poet Sofia Buchuck: Peruvian poetry and music Luzmira Zerpa: Venezuela Luz Martines: from Mexico
Colombian tales: by Miriam Ojeda Patino
Hosted by Fathieh Saudi, EWI Chair
• Monday 3rd March 2008
"it was, the pain of words"
Mehrangiz Rassapour was born in south east
of Iran ( Khoram-abad) and came to England in 1983. Her books of poetry
are entitled “Jaragheh Zood Mimirad” (SPARK DIES AT ONCE)
Iran, 1992, AND THEN THE SUN” ( . . . Va Sepass Aftaab) England,
“BEYOND The WINGS Of The BIRD” (Parandeh Digar,Nah), Germany.
Her works have been published in several languages, such as English,
German, Norwegian and various others. She is the chief editor of “VAJEH”
(Word ) a magazine for Iranian literature and Culture www.vajehmagazine.com
Ghias Al Jundi Poet, writer and human rights
activist will read his work. Originally from Syria he lives in exile
in London after being persecuted for writing in a human rights magazine
in his home country. He wrote for student newspapers in Syria and
has freelanced for al-Safir in Beirut and al-Quds al-Arabi in London.
He has been living in London for 8 years, writes poetry and short
stories and has had one play performed in London. He is a committee
member of Exiled Writers Ink and a volunteer for Amnesty International,
and is involved in the Write to Life project - a creative
writing programme for torture survivors coordinated by the Medical
Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.
Manoj Nair Poet, further details to follow
Music by Amanda Sanders
and OPEN MIC
• Monday 4th February 2008
Born in Iran
An evening of plays by the eminent playwrights:Parvin
Soltani and Ghazi Rabihavi
First performance of 'Lili's Story' by Parvin
Soltani and performance of Ghazi Rabihavi's play 'The Hat'.
• Monday 7th January 2008
Haike Beruriah and Stephen Watts reading the work
of the poet, Stencl, in Yiddish and English. (Published 2007, Five
Leaves). Haike Beruriah reading her own poetry. Judith Silver singing in Yiddish and Ladino Sizen Yiacoup reading in Ladino Renee Martin reading Ladino poetry and her own short stories.
• Monday 3rd December 2007
with Bart Wolffe who could no longer write
freely in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
Bart Wolffe was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1952 and
left in 2002 for exile in Germany via London. He is a Zimbabwean leading
playwright with work performed in nine countries. His fourteen plays
include The Sisyphus Road (2002), The Art of Accidental Stains (2002)
and Killing Rats (2001). He worked extensively, not only in Zimbabwe,
but throughout the countries of Southern Africa as well as in Edinburgh
running theatre and play writing workshops and touring shows as well
as performing. He has several published books, mostly poetry, including
of coffee cups and cigarettes (1991) and Changing Skins. His work
has been included in numerous anthologies such as New Accents, a joint
anthology of five African poets and his collection of short stories
is entitled A Twist of Tales (1989). His novel Eye of the Witness
(1995) is unpublished for fear of political repercussions. He was
a freelance journalist and was involved in the media in film, television,
print and radio. Sitcoms and features included observations on society
and its issues in Zimbabwe. Waiters, Dr Juju and many more, and his
theatre columns commented on the use of stage as a social platform
where government control had not altogether taken over the artists'
voices. However, the banning of all independent newspapers and the
jamming of radio stations curtailed his freedom to continue to make
a living as a writer and free thinker. The lack of freedom of expression
meant that continuing as an artist in Zimbabwe became impossible.
andNkwachukwu Ogbuagu who fled from Nigeria because of his novel
Son of a Superintendent of schools, Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu,
Nigerian poet, novelist and short story writer, was born on 16 January,
1968. He began writing fiction at the age of fifteen, and since then
has written five novels, eight collections of poems and two books
of short stories.
His third novel, BOSHETH WILLIAMS, was published in England in 2003.
A political, recommendable literary fiction for colleges and universities,
the novel was to generate controversies that riled the anger of the
northern section of his country. For this reason, Ogbuagu seeks sanctuary
in Britain as an exiled writer.
• Monday 5th November 2007
INTEGRATION OR NOT?
Readings and Discussion
Chaired by Miriam Frank
HAMID ISMAILOV from UZBEKISTAN
Uzbek journalist and writer forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992, since
when he lives in the UK and works at the BBC World Service. He is
a prolific writer of prose and poetry, and his books have been published
in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages; his
works are banned in Uzbekistan.. He has also translated Russian and
Western classics into Uzbek, and Uzbek and Persian classics into Russian
and some Western languages. His novel The Railway, written before
he left Uzbekistan, was the first to be translated into English by
Robert Chandler (with Ismailov in this photograph), and published
SELMA ORTIZ from CHILE
Left Chile in 1979 for England after months
of persecution, intimidation and terrorisation following Pinochet’s
coup against Allende. She studied English literature at the university
in Chile and was passionate about Shakespeare and US authors: books
by the black poet Langston Hughes intensified police questioning the
night her husband was brutally detained in 1978. She has been a teacher,
actor, scriptwriter and stage manager of women’s plays in the
UK, and researcher for documentary films. She was a producer and broadcaster
at the BBC World Service, and now belongs to a literary workshop of
Chilean women in Britain and devotes herself to writing.
PHILIPPA REES from SOUTH AFRICA
Born in South Africa of British and Dutch ancestry on opposing sides
during the Boer war, her childhood was divided between imitation English
boarding schools and camping safaris with her grandfather who inspected
African schools in the remotest reaches of the British protectorates,
giving her an intimate view of African tribal life. Consequently,
as neither white supremacist, nor black freedom fighter, nor a communist,
after graduating from university she joined the exodus of so called
‘liberals’ without a platform in 1964, finally settling
in England in 1970. She writes fiction, plays and poetry.
• Monday 8th October 2007 (2nd Monday
of the month)
Rain Cries in Kew Gardens SHIU QAN NË KEW GARDENS
The evening is dedicated to one of the greatest Kosovar
Albanian poets: Rrahman Dedaj who recently died in exile
with poetry performed by his daughter, Arta Dedaj and other
Kosovan poets and musicians
Chair: Valbona Ismaili Luta
Open Mic session
• Monday 3rd September 2007
Women's Voices and Conflict: The Voices
of Arab and Jewish poets
Fathieh Saudi born in Jordan, will be launching
her new poetry book: The Prophets.She completed her medical studies
in France. Her books include L'Oubli Rebel, Days of Amber and The
Prophets and she has translated books from English and French into
Arabic. She is a recipient of several human rights awards.
Tajia Al-Baghdady is a graduate of Baghdad
University, College of Arts in Arabic Studies. In Iraq, she was headmistress
of a girls secondary school. Tajia is a published author whose poetry
has been published in the Middle East and in London based newspapers
such as Asharq Al Awsat. She spent 18 years of her exiled life teaching
Arabic, Art and Islamic Studies in London until her recent early retirement
which she is devoting to writing and research.
Lynette Craig holds an MPhil in Writing and
leads poetry workshops with refugee groups and mentors and edits their
work. Her own collection, Burning Palaces, (Flarestack), explores
dispossession and persecution in her own family heritage.
Jennifer Langer - Jennifer Langer's poetry
on the complexity of identity, confronts difficult issues. She is
editor of three anthologies of exiled literature: The Bend in the
Road, Crossing the Border: Voices of Exiled Women Writers and The
Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile (Five Leaves). Her forthcoming
book is If Salt Had Memory: Jewish Exiled Writers from Africa, Latin
America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Five Leaves). She has
an MA in Cultural Memory.
John Subbiah is a well recognised Sitar musician
and disciple of Ravi Shankar. He also plays the Arabic oud and guitar.
His passion is in sitar fusion with multi-cultural ethnic music. he
is currently engaged in international peace work through his music.
• Monday, 6th August 2007
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Soleïman Adel Guémar whose poetry book State of Emergency has just been published
by Arc. Rooted in Algerian experience, it speaks of urgent concerns
everywhere – oppression, resistance, state violence, traumas
and private dreams.Soleiman Adel Guemar was born and raised in Algiers
where he worked as a journalist. He also published numerous stories
and won two national poetry prizes. In 2002 he left Algeria to seek
safety for himself and his family in the UK.
Playwright Jean-Louis N'tadi was born in 1964 in Congo-Brazzaville.
A political activist with the main opposition party and a Red Cross
humanitarian worker, he was dubiously charged by the government with
"trafficking information" and defamation. His works include
the Le Chef de l'Etat, a parable highly critical of the presidency
of Sassou-Nguesso, Vendu, Verve d'une Creature and Monsieur le Maire
and L'Acte de Naissance, two volumes written during his detention
at Campsfield. He also writes poetry.
Cristina Viti is a poet and translator. Published
work includes translations of Dino Campana and Elsa Morante.
Janet Simon comes from the East End of London
and was educated at York and Oxford Universities. She lived in Paris
throughout the 1970s and became fluent in French. Returning to London
she worked with deaf, homeless and older people and with asylum seekers.
Janet was a prizewinner in the 1991 National Poetry competition. In
1995 she published a collection of poems called "Victoria Park"
(Loxwood-Stoneleigh), and in 2006 her pamphlet Asylum was produced
by Hearing Eye.
Tom Cheesman will be reading Adel's work in
English.He lectures in German at Swansea University, and recently
finished a book on contemporary German Turkish novelists, which will
appear in November 2007. He set up and runs Hafan Books, a not-for-profit
publisher, which has produced five anthologies since 2003, all featuring
writing by refugees and asylum seekers dispersed to Wales, and other
writers in Wales who donate their poems, stories and other pieces.
The project raises public awareness of refugee issues and raises funds
for the local asylum seekers support group. See www.hafan.org
• Monday, 2nd July 2007
Bells of Speech
Kurdish poet whose first collection in English Bells of Speech was
published by Ambit, 2006
Born in Pakistan, Moniza grew up in England. She has published five
books of poetry, the most recent being How The Stone Found Its Voice,
He has translated over 20 books from both Russian and Turkish. He
is also a poet whose books include Poet for Poet and Coffeehouse Poems.
Kurdish harpist and singer who studied Western Classical music and
piano at the Musical Academy in Baghdad.
CHAIR: Fathieh Saudi
Poet and recipient of several human rights awards. She is current
Chair of Exiled Writers Ink.
• Monday, 4th June 2007
Exiled African Women Writing Across A Continent
an evening of African poetry and prose with: Shireen Pandit prize winning South African short story writer
and novelist Soad El-Rgaig - Libyan writer Chinwe Azubuike -Nigerian poet and activist Roda Mire - Somali writer Chair: Nathalie Teitler
• Monday, 14th May 2007
In the Footsteps of the Word Gatherer
Visiting from France: Yvan Tetelbom:the performance poet born in Algeria and exiled
in France with Polish, Algerian and Jewish origins.
Accompanied by Cristiane Bonnay: classical accordionist,
born in Dakar, Senegal.
• Monday, 2nd April 2007
• Monday, 5th March 2007
Visiting Iraqi Jewish writer exiled in Canada: Naim Kattan, author of 'Farewell Baghdad' and numerous other
books, in conversation with the Iraqi writer exiled in the UK: Khalid Kishtainy, satirist, prolific writer and author of
'Tales From Old Baghdad, Grandma and I' .
Chair: Jennifer Langer, MA
• Monday, 5th February 2007
'LOOK, WE HAVE COMING TO THE POETRY CAFF!'
AN EVENING WITH DALJIT NAGRA TO LAUNCH HIS LATEST POETRY BOOK:
LOOK, WE HAVE COMING TO DOVER! published by Faber and Faber, 2007
with music and song (tba)
Chaired by Janna Eliot
His poems have been widely published and his pamphlet,
Oh My Rub!, was a Smith/Doorstep Books winner. He was winner of The
Forward Poetry Prize for 'Look We Have Coming to Dover!', a poem about
the experience of his Punjabi parents when they first came to Britain.
• Monday, 8th January 2007
Dissident Russian poet ILYA KORMILTSEV in conversation with English poet and translator ROBERT
Chaired by Miriam Frank
llya Kormiltsev became known in the mid-eighties as the lyricist-producer
of the popular Russian rock band Nautilus Pompilius. During perestroika
the band gained a massive following and Kormiltsev's lyrics were sung
and quoted throughout Russia. After close to twenty recorded albums,
the band split up in 1997. Kormiltsev has translated into Russian
works ranging from W. S. Burroughs and Irvine Welsh, to Tom Stoppard
and C. S. Lewis. A collection of Kormiltsev’s own poetry, short
stories and plays was published in Nobody From Nowhere (2005). In
2002 Kormiltsev founded Ultra.Kultura Publishers which is dedicated
to transgressive and provocative books. In its short existence, Ultra.Kultura
has gained notoriety and now has the highest number of lawsuits per
Robert Chandler is the translator of Vasily
Grossman’s ‘Life and Fate’, as well as of Pushkin's
‘Dubrovsky’ and Leskov's ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’.
His co-translations of Andrey Platonov have won prizes in both the
UK and the US. He is the editor of ‘Russian Short Stories from
Pushkin to Buida’. His translations from languages other than
Russian include selections of Sappho and Apollinaire., and his most
recent translation is of Hamid Ismailov's ‘The Railway’
a witty and exuberant novel set in Uzbekistan. He especially enjoys
translating in collaboration with other people. He teaches part time
at Queen Mary College, University of London. His next translation
projects are Pushkin’s ‘The Captain’s Daughter’,
Platonov’s long novel ‘Chevengur’ and more works
by Vasily Grossman – most likely his short novel ‘Everything
Flows’. He also hopes to compile an anthology of Russian fairy
• Monday 4th December 2006
The Political is not the Personal with
Serbian poet: Sonja Besford
Sonja Besford was born in Belgrade. In Serbian
she has published two books of poetry, two collections of short stories
and a novel. In English she is the author of two plays, several short
stories, poems and many reviews of contemporary literature. Her first
poetry collection written in English is entitled 'Arrivals and Departures'.
Her new collection is entitled 'memories of summers in brist near
gradac', (Ambit Books)
Iraqi poet: Fawzi Kerim
Poetry read by and translated into English by the poet: Anthony Howell
Fawzi Karim was born in Baghdad in 1945. In
1968 he graduated from the University of Baghdad and published his
first poetry book Haith Tebda' al-Ashia'a (Where Things Begin). He
migrated to Beirut in 1969, where he published his second collection
Arfa'au Ydi Ihtijajan (I Raise My Hand in Protest). He returned to
Baghdad and published his third collection Junun min al-Hajar (Madness
of Stone), and two books of nonfiction, one on exile and the other
on the Iraqi author, Admon Sabri. In 1978, he migrated to London where
he still lives. In exile, he published three more books of poetry.
His Selected Poems was published in 1995 in Cairo. In 2000 his Complete
Poetry was published in Damascus by Dar al-Mada. In addition to his
regular writing for newspapers on classical music and on painting,
he edits his own quarterly al-lahdha al-Shi'iria (Poetic Moment).
Anthony Howell was born in 1945. After an early
spell dancing with the Royal Ballet, he decided to concentrate on
poetry and performance art. In 1973 he was invited to the International
Writing Program in Iowa and in 1974 he founded The Theatre of Mistakes,
a performance company which made notable appearances at the Cambridge
Poetry Festival, The Paris Biennale and the Hayward Gallery as well
as in New York. He has published six previous books of poetry and
a novel and received major bursaries from the Arts Councils of England
and Wales. In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. His
book The Analysis of Performance Art: a guide to its theory and practice
is a key text in the field of performance art.
Israeli songwriter-guitarist: Arnon Zohar Naor, who also teaches film studies
• Monday, 6th November 2006
Mountain Poetry of Exile YUYUTSU RAM DASS SHARMA
Indian poet exiled in Nepal launching
'Way to Everest: a photographic and poetic
journey to the foot of Everest'
Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller
Foundation, Irish Literature Exchange, The Institute for the Translation
of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation
of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu RD Sharma is a distinguished poet and
translator. He has published six poetry collections, including, The
Lake Fewa and a Horse: Poems New (Nirala, 2005) and a picture book,
www.WayToEverest.de: A Photographic and Poetic Journey to the Foot
of Everest, ( Epsilonmedia , Germany , 2006) with German photographer
Andreas Stimm. He has translated and edited several anthologies of
contemporary Nepali poetry in English and launched a literary movement,
Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis) in poetry. Yuyutsu’s
own work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Hebrew,
Spanish and Dutch. He lives in Kathmandu where he edits Pratik, A
Magazine of Contemporary Writing and contributes literary columns
to Nepal ’s leading dailies, The Himalayan Times and The Kathmandu
Post. He is completing his first novel.
Nepalese musicians: Bishwo Shahi and Prabin
STEPHEN WATTS launching
'Modern Kurdish Poetry'
ed. Kamal Mirawdeli and Stephen Watts
A rare collection of Kurdish twentieth-century poetry
translated into English for the series Endangered Languages and Cultures.
Thirty Kurdish poets, from Haji Taufiq Peeramerd and Abdullah Goran
to Sara Faqé Khidir and Choman Hardi, are represented. An introduction
to Kurdish literature has been authored by Rafiq Sabir.
Stephen Watts is a poet and editor, much involved in translation studies.
His own poetry has been published as The Lava's Curl (1990, repr.
2002) and Gramsci & Caruso, Selected Poems 1977-1997 (2003) as
well as a bilingual selection of his work in Czech translation. He
has co-edited Voices of Conscience : Prison Poems (1995), Mother Tongues:
Non English-Language Poetry In England (2001) and Music While Drowning
: German Expressionist Poems (2003) and has compiled a very extensive
bibliography of 20th century poetry in English
translation. His interest in Hungarian poetry is long-standing.
Chaired by: David Clark of Exiled Ink magazine
• Monday, 2nd October 2006
Memories, Myths and Migrations: Poetry and Music from Sri Lanka, Ireland and beyond
WORD & VIOLIN
Sri Lankan poet Pireeni Sundaralingam and Irish
composer/violinist Colm O'Riain weave together poetry and
music in a series of duets exploring the rich interconnections between
a host of lyric traditions, including Irish ballad and Indian raag.
• Monday, 4th September 2006
The Eye of the Storm:
Exiled male and female writers from Iraq, Pakistan, Cyprus and Kurdistan
speak out about gendered violence
Samira Al Mana was born in Basra, Iraq and
is author of five novels, a play and collections of short stories.
Her new novella is entitled The Oppressors and her novel Umbilical
Cord was recently translated into English. She was the deputy editor
of Alightrab Al-Adabi, a magazine of exile.
Nazand Begikhani was born in Iraqi Kurdistan.
She is the founding member and co-ordinator of the organisation ‘Kurdish
Women's Action against Honour Killing' (KWAHK) and the International
Kurdish Women’s Studies Network and has published many articles
on gender issues. Her first poetry collection Yesterday of Tomorrow
was published in Paris in 1995 and her second poetry collection will
be published in the near future.
Mahmood Jamal was born in Lucknow in India
in 1948 and his family, like many Muslim families, moved to Pakistan.
He is a progressive poet, filmmaker and translator who writes in Urdu
and English. His latest collection of poetry Sugar-Coated Pill was
launched in June 2006 and his other books include Modern Urdu Poetry
and Silence Inside a Gun's Mouth. He has been published in a wide
range of anthologies, had his work broadcast on radio and TV, and
been translated into several languages.
Aydin Mehmet Ali was born in Cyprus. Her writing
has been characterised as 'breaking taboos' with her short stories
having appeared in numerous publications. Publications: Turkish Speaking
Communities & Education - no delight (2001), editor of Turkish
Cypriot Identity in Literature (1990) and contributor to Weeping Island,
a recent collection of Cypriot writers living in Cyprus and the Diaspora.She
set up FATAL (For the Advancement of Turkish-speakers Arts and Literature)
which includes Cypriot, Turkish and Kurdish artists and writers.
• Monday, 7th August 2006
Roaring from the Top of the World: Exiled
Writers Speak from Norway
Chenjerai Hove of Zimbabwe is a poet, an essayist
and an award-winning novelist. He is currently the International Cities
of Refuge Network guest writer in Stavanger, Norway.
Mansour Koushan of Iran is a former guest writer
of Stavanger. A prolific poet, playwright, director and novelist,
he worked to establish the independent Writers' Association in Iran.
Mansur Rajih of Yemen is a poet whose work
had to be smuggled out of his prison cell for 15 years. A former guest
writer of Stavanger, he is currently working on his fifth poetry collection.
Moderator for the evening: Ren Powell, an American
poet, translator and essayist; Project Coordinator for ICORN and Stavanger's
City of Refuge Center.
• Monday, 3rd July 2006
An evening of poetry, storytelling and music
MC: Soheila Ghodstinat
'WORLD WITHOUT WORDS'
with Valbona Bashota: A Kosovan Albanian who arrived in the UK
in 1994, Valbona has won numerous prizes for her poetry. She works
as a freelance journalist.
Sofia Buchuck: Born in Cusco, Peru, her collection of poetry is entitled
Al otro lado de America (At the Other Side of America). Her poetry
has been published in a range of anthologies. Since 1991 she has performed
Latin American music at festivals and concerts in the UK and Latin
America and in 2000 ‘Girl of the Rain Forest’ was released. Nela Milic: Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Nela is a visual artist
and a short story writer. Sifundo Msebele: established performance poet Mohammed Bashar Al-Hueidi: Born in Damascus, Syria, Mohammed
emigrated to the UK in 1991.
PLUS Tenzin Tsundue: Tibetan poet in exile in India where he has
been well published. He is on his first visit to Europe.
'Exiled Ink!' magazine for sale
• Monday, 5th June 2006
contemplative poetry and music inspired by mystical poets
KARIM HAIDARI, ROOHI MAJID, MELANIE REINHART, EVLYNN SHARP
An event that offers the mystical poetry of Rumi and
Hafez in Dari/Farsi and in English with musical accompaniment. Original
translations of the poems have been made by Karim Haidari and Evlynn
Sharp. The poems will be read by Karim, Roohi and Evlynn, with original
music by Melanie Reinhart. Melanie’s ragas on harmonium and
tampura combine with the poetic voices and tune to the spiritual perfection
of the poetry. This shared adoration of the poetry of Rumi and Hafez
has led to Awakening Love - a new CD recording of the poems in Dari/Farsi
and in English, and with music.
Karim Haidari was born in Afghanistan and adores
Rumi and Hafez. He is a poet and playwright, and writes articles for
Roohi Hasan Majid was born in Pakistan and
is a student of Sufism. She is a poet who writes in Urdu and English.
Melanie Reinhart was born in Zimbabwe and
deeply loves contemplative music. She is an astrologer and author
of several books. Visit: www.melaniereinhart.com
Evlynn Sharp was born in Scotland and loves
mystical poetry. She is a poet and dramatist, and runs creative writing
projects in the community.
Amanda Sanders with 2 other players: Gadje Juerga (non-gypsies Jamming)
Organised and chaired by Ghias Aljundui
• Monday, 3rd April 2006
Exiled African Writers
with Brian Chikwava, Caine Prize Winner, 2004 (Zimbabwe) Francis Akpata, (Nigeria) Suleiman Addonia (Eritrea/Ethiopia)
MC: Isabelle Romaine
• Monday, 6th March 2006
Miriam Frank (Latin America)
Lorraine Mariner (England)
Aamer Hussein (Pakistan)
Steve Griffiths (Wales)
and other exiled writers
• Monday, 6th February 2006
Exiled Writers Ink and Windows for Peace invite you to:
ACROSS THE MIDDLE EASTERN DIVIDE
WITH ARAB AND JEWISH WRITERS FROM IRAQ, SYRIA, TURKEY and LIBYA
Moris Farhi is the Turkish born Jewish author of the novel
'Young Turk' as well as of The Last of Days, Journey Through the Wilderness
and Children of the Rainbow. For over twenty years, under the auspices
of English PEN and International PEN, he has campaigned on behalf
of writers persecuted or imprisoned by repressive regimes throughout
the world, for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Fadhil As Sultani the poet, has published a collection entitled
'Burning in Water'. He is editor of the literature section of the
Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.
Raphael Luzon - Jewish Libyan born former journalist forced to
flee from Libya
Sawsun Sabuh - Syrian poet (further details to follow)
andFloor spots after the coffee break
please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or register on
The Poetry Café in Covent Garden is a cosy place, a calm time-warp
of clear-faced students, murmuring couples, tiny tables and red wine;
poetry-related newspaper clippings adorn the wall. There are regular
readings in the room downstairs, which was cramped this week in anticipation
of four writers from across the Middle East. The Danish embassy in
Iran was being firebombed as they spoke, and reality couldn't help
but intrude, despite pleas from a moderator for more imaginative fare
after the first contributor, Libyan Jew Raphael Luzon, focused on
politics. He was followed by Fadhil as Sultani, an Iraqi-born poet
who has translated William Trevor and Toni Morrison into Arabic, is
tackling English poets from 1952 to 2000, and read a tribute to the
founder of Iraqi free verse followed by addresses to Van Gogh and
RS Thomas: "Like you, I sometimes hear the fluttering of swans
on an unknown sea ... sometimes, like you, I hear in the middle of
the night mysterious music, and a voice summoning me." Impac-longlisted
Moris Farhi, who left Turkey for England at 19, read a thinly fictionalised
injunction to multi-ethnic tolerance and was followed by Ghias al
Jundi, an exiled Syrian who had cheered when the Danish cartoons were
published but was dashed down by the "biggest disaster"
when the protests began. His poems were full of details - the floor
of the university library where he used to hide to kiss his girlfriend,
the "smell of words on clothes" - and finally, "I met
a girl from the Czech Republic on the number 36 bus, and I don't know
why, but she asked me about love," was the introduction to one
poem, which ended: "In this vague future, I forget myself."
• Monday, 9th January 2006
Everyone welcome to perform their work.
Chaired by Mir Mahfuz Ali
• Monday, 5th December 2005
An evening with Latin American exiled writers and musicians
Alfredo Cordal (Chile)
Juan Calles (Peru)
Mentor Chico (Ecuador)
Omar Garcia Obrogon (Cuban)
Diego Laverde Rojas on his Colombian harp
Jose Navarro on his Andean flute
MC: Miriam Frank
• Monday, 7th November 2005
When A Woman Lost Her Man
The mothers, wives, daughters, sisters.....who lost 8000 men
The distinguished Canadian poet John Weier has published
ten books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and has represented Canadian
literature internationally. He will read with the renowned Iranian
poet Esmail Khoi whose witty and political poetry has caused him to
spend most of his life in exile. In Iran in the early 1980s, he was
forced to spend nearly two years in hiding before fleeing in 1983.
His anthologies of work translated into English are ‘Edges of
Poetry: Selected Poems of Esmail Khoi (1995), the bilingual anthology
‘Outlandia: Songs of Exile’ (1999) and Voice of Exile
(2002). Plus read your own work after the coffee
• Monday 5th September 2005
Sharing Thoughts about the New World Order
(any themes connected loosely or closely to the London bombings) -
poetry, prose, images, multi-media etc
Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in England.
She has had five books of poetry published: The Country at My Shoulder
(OUP 1993), A Bowl of Warm Air (OUP 1996), Carrying My Wife (Bloodaxe
2000), Souls (Bloodaxe 2002) and How the Stone Found Its Voice (Bloodaxe
2005). She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002. In 2003 a collection
of her poems in translation was published in Holland.
Jane Duran was born in Cuba and brought up
in the US and Chile. Her first collection Breathe Now, Breathe (Enitharmon
Press, 1995) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her
second collection, Silences from the Spanish Civil War, was published
by Enitharmon Press in 2002. A third collection, Coastal, is due in
Plus guest poet (tba) and Open Mic
• Monday 6th June 2005
The Way Back
with Nora Armani,
award-winning actress, playwright, author, producer, born in Egypt
of Armenian parents, asks: "Is 'return' really possible?"
She reads from her new writing on the theme of 'Exile and Return'.
In her new work, Nora explores the issues of belonging and return
to one's place of birth after experiencing other cultures and living
through exile. Darija Stojnic
will read her short stories on Return. She is from
Sarajevo, Bosnia where she lived until the outbreak of war in 1992.
Some of her short stories have been published in SaLon, Big Issue,
Crossing the Border and The Silver Throat of the Moon. She also writes
for Bosniak Post, Norway.
• Monday 9th May 2005
Narratives of Africa
Tribute: Senait Gebremichaels reading Reesom
Haile's poetry in Tigrinea and English,
Black British Sierra Leonean, author Valerie Mason-John on
her debut novel, 'Borrowed Body' Khadija George with guest (tbc) from her anthology: 'Write
Black, Write British: From Post Colonial to Black British Literature'
• Monday 4th April 2005
Sinti (gypsy) Hauntings
Settela by Aad Wagenaar
(translation publ. Five Leaves, March 2005) Janna Eliot, translator, on the search for Settela with Florina, Romany poet and Romany music
• Monday 7th March 2005
"Citizenship of Sand: Window of Illusion"
Ghias Aljundi, Anywhere
Bashir Sakhawarz, Afghanistan
He has written articles, poetry and short stories and has also published
three books. He recently appeared in 'And the City Spoke' performed
at the Hampstead Theatre, London as part of EWI's European project.
Wafaa Abdul Razzaq, Iraq
Wafaa came to the UK in 2000. She has had 3 collections of poetry
published plus a CD book with music, two short stories and four novels.
She has produced a further two unpublished collections of poetry,
all in Arabic. Her work is gradually being translated into English.
Guitarist and singer Meguen Touko, Cameroon
• Monday 7th February 2005
Writers from tsunami affected countries
Parm Kaur, Mir Mahfuz Ali, Shantachar
Saturday 5th February
Exiled Writers Ink in Paris
with Ziba Karbassi (Iran, London, Paris), Jennifer
Langer (London), Ali Abdolrezaei (Iran, Paris), Parham
Shahrjerdi (Iran, Paris)
Monday 10th January 2005 at 7.30 pm
Strangers on Other Shores
a night of poetry presented by Richard McKane (poet and translator)
with Cristina Viti (Italian poet ), Stephen Watts (poet and translator- English) and Alev Adil (Turkish Cypriot
Monday 6th December 2004
Scottish night followed by a party
Scott Russell, academic and performance poet,
will read his Christmas poems. Funny and full of rhymes! Andrea Muir, writer, editor and creative writing tutor, will
read her short stories. Graham Muir, self-taught guitarist, well acclaimed Highland
musician. Atmospheric and technically challenging.
Please bring snack food and drink.
• Monday 1st November 2004
To the Memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa:
Nigerian author and environmentalist
with Olayinka Sunmonu (novelist) and Francis
and others tba
• Monday 4th October 2004
Life for Us
CHOMAN HARDI EWI's first Chair, will be reading
from her first published poetry collection 'Life for Us' published
by Bloodaxe Books, September 2004 JASON PETTUS slam poet from Chicago on a UK tour (http://www.jasonpettus.com/uk) NAZANEEN RAKHSHANDEH was born in Tehran and has been living
in England since 1976. Her collection of poetry Runway of Words was
published in London in 2003.
PIREENI SUNDARALINGAM poet of Sri Lankan origin from San Francisco
A PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow, Pireeni was recently named as " one
of America's emerging writers" by the literary journal Ploughshares.
Born in Sri Lanka, her poetry addresses the issues of civil war and
exile, examining such universal themes as the loss of land and language.
Her work will be featured in the documentary film "Veil of Silence"
and the International Museum of Women in 2005. Pireeni's new CD, entitled
"Bridge Across the Blue", weaves together poetry and music
to tell the diaspora stories of different immigrant groups in America.
Monday 6th September2004
Journey of the Emotions: Self-censorship
with published poets
Ziba Karbassi with translator, Stephen Watts, Mimi Khalvati, Peter
Phillips Monday 2nd August 2004
'Speaking in Other Tongues' Members of Exiled Writers Ink! present a collage of
poetry and music with audience participation featuring Agim Morina,
Sophia Buchuck and Mir Mahfuz Ali
Monday 5th July 2004
'Aires de Buenos Aires'
an evening of Argentinean poetry and song
with Lloica Czakis (www.lloicaczackis.com)-
celebrated singer with guitar Miriam Frank - writer and translator
of Juan Gelman and Hector Tizon
'Aires de Buenos Aires,
una noche de poesia y canciones argentinas
lunes 5 de julio
Lloica Czackis voz y guitarra
Miriam Frank escritos y traducciones de Juan Gelman
• Monday 7th June 2004
Moris Farhi author of the recently published ‘Young Turk’
in conversation with Richard McKane.
Moris Farhi was born in Turkey in 1935. He has
written several novels, including Children of the Rainbow (The Independent,
The New Statesman and The Daily Telegraph 'Book of the Year') and
Journey through the Wilderness ('bears comparison with the best of
Graham Greene'). He is a vice-president of English PEN and a patron
of Exiled Writers Ink and in 2001 was appointed MBE for 'services
to literature'. He lives in London. "Beautifully rendered, poetic and mystical,
this is an intoxicating collect ion of 13 tales run together like
kebabs on the skewer of Turkish history." Daily
• Monday 10th May2004 'Out of Iraq'
with writer: Haifa Zangana,
poets: Fadhil Assultani and Awad Nasir and
singer and oud player: Sahira Hussein
• Monday 5th April2004
extract from Florida, The election play
by Dale Reynolds, ex-patriot American writer
with Dale Reynolds and actors
After the coffee break:
opportunity for exiled writers to perform and discuss their work
• Monday 1st March2004
Anne Dreams of Sand
Ghias Al Jundi: poet from a fjord
Khadija Ait Ammi: writer from Morocco
Adriana Diaz Enciso: writer from Mexico
Stanisous Meguen: singer and guitarist from Cameroons
Organised by Ghias Al Jundi,
Followed by a discussion led by Marta Niccolai
‘Culture/s and Europe’
• Monday 2nd February2004
ANNA CARTERET and STELLA MARIS
POEMS, PROSE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
by REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS and WRITERS IN EXILE
Including work by contributors to CROSSING THE BORDER AND BEND IN
THE ROAD, edited by Jennifer Langer - pub. Five Leaves.
The book ‘Crossing the Border’ will be on sale on the
ANNA CARTERET joined the National Theatre at the Old Vic in 1967 -
and appeared in many plays - including Peter Hall's production of
JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN - which opened the new National Theatre. She
enjoyed many roles there and in the West End - her favourite being
MRS CHEVELEY in Peter Hall's AN IDEAL HUSBAND - which transferred
to Broadway for six months. For the RSC she played Mme de MERTEUILLE
IN LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (national tour and Johannesburg) and QUEEN
MARGARET in RICHARD III. Her last West End appearance was in Franco
Zefirelli's production of Pirandello's ABSOLUTELY (PERHAPS). She has
also directed 5 plays on the fringe. Her television parts included
Inspector Kate Longton in JULIET BRAVO. She also helped to form RAVING
BEAUTIES - whose first two shows IN THE PINK and MAKE IT WORK were
shown on Channel Four TV. At the ICA she co-founded CENSORED THEATRE
who presented plays banned in their own countries for political reasons,
the first of which was Ariel Dorfman's DEATH OF A MAIDEN.
STELLA MARIS worked in repertory in her native Argentina before coming
to England in 1979 - when the military junta banned the play in which
she was appearing, as subversive.. she stayed with Anna for four years
- and has taken part in several plays dealing with political oppression
including Francisco Morales' CHILE LEST WE FORGET, THE PORTAGE OF
AH TO ST CHRISTOBAL (dir. John Dexter), MY SONG IS FREE (Monstrous
Regiment), FALKLAND SOUND - VOCES DE MALVINAS (dir. Max Stafford Clark,
Royal Court and Traverse) and recently THEATRE FOR THE IDENTITY (Arcola),
EVERY DAY PALESTINE and SHOCK AND AWE (both with Meeting Ground).
In the 80s, Stella spent 3 years doing Popular Theatre with the Landless
Movement - Sem Terra - in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Recent film work includes IMAGINING ARGENTINA (dir. Christopher Hampton)..Other
films - TRULY MADLY DEEPLY, BAMBINO MIO, HILARY AND JACKY, NELLY'S
VERSION - and her recent TV work includes FAMILY (LWT), AWF WIEDERSHEN
PET - and DIE KINDER, BETWEEN THE LINES and UNDER THE SUN (dir. Michael
• Monday, 5th January 2004 at 7.30 p.m.
Performance of extract from: Peeling the
Skin of Time
Peeling the Skin of Time is a work of experimental theatre which was
devised especially for Refugee Week 2002 by writers from Cyprus, Iran,
Kurdistan and Bangladesh - Choman Hardi, Abol Froushan, Julia Kaminska,
Gulgun Mustafa, Mir Mahfuz Ali, Fatma Durmush, Afshin Babazadeh. It
is an exploration of internal and external landscapes and depicts
the excitement and commotion of a society made up of people from elsewhere
and was performed at the Arcola and New End Theatres, London in June
Ghias Al Jundi
Sri Lankan poet Pireeni Sundaralingam and Irish composer/violinist Colm