Exiled Writers Ink brings together writers from repressive regimes and war-torn situations and it equally embraces migrants and exiles. Providing a space for writers to be heard, Exiled Writers Ink develops and promotes the creative literary expression of refugees, migrants and exiles, encourages cross-cultural dialogue and advocates human rights through literature and literary activism.
The network provides a platform for the work of writers living in the UK and mainland Europe through performance, publishing, training and education activities. We believe that the literature and culture of exile can provide a focus for communication and integration throughout society and act as a force for positive change.
Exiled Writers Ink was formally established in 2000 and is a registered charity.
We are sorry to bring you the sad news that Raficq Abdulla, one of the poets associated with us, has passed away.
I knew Raficq Abdulla for many years and long admired his energy and commitment to the causes close to his heart. He was a regular performer of his poetry at our Exiled Lit Cafe nights. It was clear that he was intensely close to the spiritualism of Sufi poetry and I particularly recall an evening of his own mystic poetry at which he also presented and discussed the work of Rumi and Attar. In fact he published two books of new interpretations of the work of these mystic poets: Words of Paradise: Selected Poems of Rumi (Frances Lincoln, 2000) and Conference of the Birds: Selected Sufi Poetry of Attar (Frances Lincoln, 2003).
It was always evident that he cared deeply about human rights and peace, a sensibility which he expressed through his poetry and participation in our literary activism events. This was exemplified by his contribution to Poets for Peace in Colombia organised by our late chair, Fatieh Saudi, and in 2014 he was one of the Arab and international poets who read their work in support of Palestinians in Gaza. Raficq was a profoundly deep and reflective thinker and I remember the impressive paper he presented to our 2012 symposium ‘Hopitality Poetica’ in relation to the ‘other’.
Now I realise that I was familiar with only a few facets of Raficq Abdulla as he was always a modest man and I am saddened that I was not more aware of all his other prodigious achievements in terms of law and scholarship on Islam.
We will miss him at Exiled Writers Ink.
Dr Jennifer Langer
Founding Director Exiled Writers Ink