Women Writers Speak Out

Anba Jawi

Anba writes in Arabic and English and publishes regularly in an Iraqi daily newspaper that circulates in Baghdad. Anba was one of the pioneering women geologists in Iraq. She holds a PhD from University College London and worked in the refugee sector for more than twenty years.

Mehrangiz Rassapour

Mehrangiz was born in the south east of Iran. She received her B.A. in Literature before coming to live in England in 1983. She has published three poetry collections: Jaragheh Zood Mimirad (Spark Dies at Once), Iran, 1992, . . . And Then the Sun ( . . . Va Sepass Aftaab), England, and Beyond the Wings of the Bird (Parandeh Digar,Nah), Germany. Se has given lectures and recitals of her works, both in England and overseas. She is chief editor of Vajeh (Word ) a literature and culture magazine she founded in 2002

Saradha Soobrayen


Saradha is a London born poet of Mauritian descent who is reviews editor for Modern Poetry in Translation. She also works as a mentor and coach, providing professional development for emerging and established writers and artists. Her publications include ‘Out Of Bounds’ (2012), ‘Red’ (2009), ‘The Forward Book of Poetry’ 2008, Oxford Poets 2007, ‘I Am Twenty People!’ (2008), ‘New Poetries IV’ (2007) and ‘This Little Stretch of Life’ (2006). She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2004.

Laila Sumpton

Laila works as a poet, performing and publishing her work as well as hosting events and delivering poetry projects and workshops. She is a member of the Keats House Poets and has worked with hospitals, museums, galleries, universities, charities, festivals and schools across the country. She is currently working on a new Arts Council funded project called Bards Without Borders – where migrant and refugee poets respond to Shakespeare. Laila has co-edited two poetry anthologies.


Hosted by Jennifer Langer

Bards without Borders


Freddy Macha, Tolu Agbelusi, Shamim Azad, Alia’ Kuwalit, Belinda Zhawi,

Edin Suljic, Lloyd Benjamin, Haroon O Mahdi, Barbara Lopez, Fatima Diriye, Hamdi Khalif
London poets from refugee and migrant backgrounds, combine music and poetry to present a new and exciting response to the work of William Shakespeare. With over ten languages between them and from countries ranging from Bosnia to Somalia, the Bards have a truly global response to Shakespeare which is fun, thought provoking and powerful.

Plus short Shakespeare themed audience open-mic and interactive audience poems to be created on the night!

Having recently performed a sell-out show at the Hackney Showrooms the Bards are keen to take their lively performance to the Poetry Cafe, and to ask audiences who Shakespeare is to them as we near the 400th anniversary of the original Bard.

Bards Without Borders is led by poet/facilitator Laila Sumpton and theatre director Arne Pohlmeier (Two Gents Productions) and presented in association with Platforma arts & refugees network. Supported by Arts Council England.
Watch the Bards in action: http://www.platforma.org.uk/bards-without-borders-on-film/

£5 or £3 for 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members/asylum seekers

Suit of a Happy Soul
Edin Suljic, Shanta Acharya, Bart Wolffe, Racheal Joseph.


Haymanot was born in Ethiopia, She is a singer, writer and photographer as well as a painter. She says,” I’m living on our beautiful earth to admire words, melody, colours and nature, which gives me inspiration to be creative”.

The (Per)Suit of happiness probably dates back to the exile from Paradise. That is one thing all humans have in common. Hence, happiness is closely dependent on feeling safe and a sense of belonging. Poets of exiled and migrant background will share their experiences of finding out what helps exiled people to maintain their inner safe place to be. All exiles, including poets, are faced with the challenge of adapting to a new culture whilst needing to preserve their own identity, despite loss and separation, wearing – like poets, this evening – an ill fitted Suit of a Happy Soul There will be a Master Tailor at work on the stage as we perform, and everyone is invited to get that bespoke fitted Suit of a Happy Soul.

Edin Suljic grew up in the multicultural, multinational society of former Yugoslavia, before moving to the UK at the onset of the tragic Yugoslavian war in 1991. Being of a diverse background, he has a personal inclination to making different parts of society understand each other to find common values. He likes a good story; telling and making stories about people in all their diversities is the best way of bringing people closer together.

Shanta Acharya
Her three books of poetry are Looking In, Looking Out (Headland Publications, UK; 2005), Numbering Our Days’ Illusions (Rockingham Press, UK; 1995) and Not This, Not That (Rupa & Co, India; 1994).
Racheal Joseph was born in England of mixed parentage. Her poetry reflects the issues around growing up in a time when you were expected to pick whether you wanted to be ‘Black’ or ‘White’. This was political and she was never able to pick one colour over another.

Bart Wolffe was born in Zimbabwe 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 has several published books, mostly poetry. His novel Eye of the Witness (1995) is unpublished for fear of political repercussions. His novel Worm Head was published in 2006. Persona Non Grata, is a collection of stories based on exile and alienation and his biography is Bastard of the Colony.

£5 or £3 for 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members/asylum seekers


Cognate Voices and Reflected Tales

Doors: 6.45pm

Performance: 7.30pm


For more than 10 years Exiled Writers Ink and Sable Lit Mag have been at the forefront of providing a much needed platform for marginalised writers from diverse backgrounds.  These voices with their unique perspectives have been able to shed light upon the unseen triumphs and tribulations and have allowed audiences to discover secret nations within a nation.

The word exile provides a common thread between Exiled Writers and SABLE LitMag.  Meaning to be expelled or barred from one’s own country for political reasons.  The journey of the exiled is experienced by your archetypal political exile in the classical way.  But also by the African diaspora whether born abroad or in Britain due to the nature of racial discrimination in the UK and being barred from full participation.

The title Cognate Voices & Reflected Tales comes from the search for self- validation in opposition to being exiled.  Meaning exiled, lost, unconnected voices which are now found and true to themselves in-spite of circumstances.  Reflected means the different life stories but common journeys recurring themes that both groups of writers/poets share.

So the April 4th event marks an opportunity to celebrate the reflected mission statements of both groups via our talented line-up of cognate voices.   It has always been the aim for both organisations to take the audience and writer/performer outside of their comfort box.  This means the writers/performers will be delivering material which delivers the full gamut of human emotions, whilst rejecting the limited cliché’s of the exiled life forced upon by lazy media.

‘Art is the heArt of a nation,’


Musa Dembele:  Musician  

Moussa Dembele, from Burkina Faso, was born and raised into a family of musicians and craftsmen, who have been producing musical instruments for generations. Having had these unique skills passed down to him from a young age he is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist of African instruments, music teacher and highly skilled master craftsman of African instruments.

Dembele has toured extensively throughout Africa, Europe and Israel, in particular with his previous band – ‘Koroleko’. He also spent many years based in Ghana where he played lead Balafon for the renowned Pan-African Orchestra. In addition to the Balafon, he also plays the Kora and Ngoni to a high level as well as Djembe and Doum Doum. Over the years he has collaborated with many musicians from varying musical genres including jazz and pop as well as traditional and contemporary African music. Additionally he also taught, as a guest teacher, in the music department of Ghana University.

Innua Ellams:


Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of the Midnight Run — an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional African storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His three books of poetry are published by Flipped Eye and Akashic Books, and several plays by Oberon.

Elimi Ali:


Elmi Ali is a writer, performer/facilitator based in the North West.  He writes poetry, short -fiction and drama.  Ali has performed across the country including Westminster, The Southbank Centre & Contact Manchester.  His work has been published in publications such as the Poetry Review and Scarf Magazine of which he is an Associate Editor.

He facilitates Performance Poetry and Creative Writing workshops: both individually and in partnership with organisations such as Numbi Arts, Arvon Foundation, Young Identity and Wordsmith.

Belinda Zhawi:


photo by: Amaal Said

Belinda Zhawi is a 24 year old writer and educator born in Zimbabwe; resident in London. Her work focuses on her memories of living in rural and urban Zimbabwe whilst exploring the role this has played in shaping the narrative of her life thus far. She’s performed across the UK in numerous venues, festivals and events including Africa Writes, Bestival and Barbican. Some of her work has been published in the anthologies Liminal Animals and Casagrande: Rain Of Poems. In May 2013 she featured as one of Channel 4’s Random Acts. She co-founded and hosts the monthly poetry night, BORN::FREE and is currently on of five 2015/16 London Laureates.

Osita Dima:

Osita Dima

Osita Dima is a university student and a poet from Sierre Leone. He enjoys writing poetry and appreciates it as a cathartic medium which allows him to document his thoughts. His work is predominately aimed at young people and he endeavours to shift the paradigm of tradition by inspiring the idea of questioning everything and endeavouring to move to a more pragmatic future.His firtt poetry collection will be published in March 2016 and is called ‘EFL’.

Nikheel Gorolay:


Nikheel Gorolay was born in London to East African Asian parents. He has contributed book reviews and poetry to SABLE Litmag and has just completed his debut novel, Bricks and Mousa.

Michael Chilokoa: Michael Chilokoa is a Hackney born and bred writer who collects everyday interactions and places them onto to the page.  His work has been featured in Maia Press and SABLE Litmag

Contemporary British Bangladeshi Poetry


Farah Naz

Ahsan Akbar was born in London, and subsequently grew up in Dhaka, before moving back to the UK at 16 on his own. He studied at Exeter, worked as a vinyl record seller, bookseller, and as an equities trader in the City and Southeast Asia. His debut book, The Devil’s Thumbprint, is a collection of poems. He is a director of Dhaka Lit Fest, and is currently at work on a novel.

Salam Jones is a writer/poet/carpenter. Founder of Hope n Mic, a monthly charity based platform for poets/writers/artists to perform before a live audience, with proceeds going to a different charitable cause. His novel is titled as Days of our Wives, a novel based on the British Bengali community in East London. He is founder of Beau, an internet based publishing house specifically targeting writers of Asian origin.

Imtiaz Ahmed is an exponent of Tagore songs. His albums on Tagore songs have acclaimed appreciation locally and internationally. Imtiaz is also well known for rendering the songs of ‘Pancha Kabi’ – the five famous composers of Bengal. The distinctive tonal quality combined with the effortless control of the tune and perfect pronunciation of each word makes Imtiaz’s songs a unique experience for the listeners. Imtiaz teaches music in Satyen Sen School and Anandadhara arts.

Milton Rahman is poet and writer. He has 2 collections of poetry in Bengali published titled as ‘Churno Kal’ and ‘Noksha Puran’. Milton published two books of his collection of short storis in Bangladesh. He regularly writes for Bangladeshi newspapers and little magazines. Recently he just finished his research on 20th century’s little magazine in Europe. He is the news head of Bangla TV a community TV Channel.

Farah Naz is a poet, writer and storyteller. Her collection of poetry published in 2004 is called Maya- Mirror of the Soul. She regularly writes poetry and articles for two leading English newspapers in Bangladesh. Her poetic themes encompass nature, human emotions and metamorphosis of love and life. Farah has completed her postgraduate studies in Economics at Birkbeck, University of London.

Ikbal Hussain Bulbul is a poet and literary events coordinator. He has published 3 books in Bengali titled as Tomar Shimanar Baire Norok Batihin Timir Nishat and Shukh-Hin Ei Shukher Shathe. Ikbal regularly contributes to Bangladeshi and local Bengali news papers.

Open Mic

Hosted by poet, Shamim Azad

Poetry and Human Rights

An evening of poetry, performance, art and narrative, hosted by poet and human rights expert, Abbas Faiz.

Leesa Gazi, Ali Abdolrezaei, Farah Didi, Horia Mosadiq, Naushad Waheed and others will present their work on

human rights topics and concepts relating to Bangladesh, Iran, the Maldives, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, followed by

open mic and music.

Leesa Gazi

Lees Gazi
is a writer, actor,TEDx speaker, and voice artist. Among her many achievements are: Working as a voice artist for Akram Khan’s ‘Desh’; Script interpreter in the 2012 Globe to Globe festival at the Globe Theatre on ‘The Tempest’; Acting in ‘Whisper Me Happy Ever After’ (Face Front Theatre), a play about domestic violence which had multiple tours in London schools over 2 years; Acting in a series of BBC Educational Films; Being nominated for the award of British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration 100, 2015; Publication of her first novel in 2010; Working as a researcher, translator and playwright on the ongoing project, “Portrait of Baul”, an audio visual investigation of the current state of Baul music, and an examination of the significance of their philosophy; Concept developer, co-writer and the performer of the theatre production Birangona: Women of War, which completed its two and a half month tour in the UK, and also a three week tour in Bangladesh in 2014. Leesa’s theatrical credits include: ‘Chotto Desh’ (Akram Khan Company); ‘Made’ (Target Theatre); · ‘Of Blood And Fire’ (Komola Collective); ‘Desh’ (Akram Khan Company); ’Sonata’, ‘Rokeya’s Dream’, ‘ People’s Romeo’ & ‘Demon’s; Revenge’ (Tara Arts); ’Ponderful People’,Whisper Me Happy Ever After (Face Front Theatre); ‘Six Seasons’, ‘A Golden Age’ & ‘Bonbibi’ (Culturepot Global).

Ali Abdolrezaei

was born in 1969 in Langerood in Northern Iran. Ali published his first book of poems “Only Iron Men Rust in the Rain” at the age of 19, which had an undeniable impact on poetry circles with his speeches and media interviews. Ali left Iran in September 2002 after his protest against the censorship of his last book to be published in Iran, “So Sermon of Society”, which led to him being banned from teaching and public speaking. He now lives in London, UK. Ali has published 34 varied books which include “In Riskdom Where I lived”, “This Dear Cat”, “Paris in Renault”, “More Obscene than Literature”, “Hermaphrodite”, “You Name this Book”, “Terror”, “La Elaha Ella Love” and “Wisdom of Sin”. Ali Abdolrezaei’s poems have been translated into many languages including English , French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish, Portuguese, Urdu, Croatian, Armenian, Bangali, and Arabic.

Dr. Farah Didi (nee Faizal) 

fara-didiis a British-educated, human rights defender from Maldives. She worked for the Maldives democracy movement pre-2008 and with the first democratically elected government in 2008, she served as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from March 2009 to February 2012. She also served as Ambassador of Maldives to France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Following the coup d’état in the Maldives on the 7th of February 2012, Farah resigned from her post in protest. Farah is the first Maldivian woman to get a PhD. She has been writing poetry from her young days and her recent works are mainly on the Maldives coup 2012 and its aftermath.

Horia Mosadiq 


is Amnesty International’s human rights expert on Afghanistan. She was the Award Winner of 2007 national human rights award in Afghanistan and in 2011 she was recognised for her work among 50 bravest women of the world by Glamour magazine. In 2012 she won Women Rights Defender Award from Amnesty International. Horia has been writing poems since an early age on topics relating, among others, to human rights.

Naushad Waheed 


is a Maldivian artist and human rights defender now living in the UK. He was imprisoned as a Prisoner of Conscience by the Maldives former dictator, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The charge against him was that he had contacted Amnesty International about the human rights situation in the Maldives. Naushad began his career as an artist in the mid 70s. His paintings and sculptures have been displayed in tourist resorts in the Maldives. He has had exhibitions in Europe, Australia, China and the United States. Naushad is the winner of multiple national and international awards. Some of Naushad’s work will be on display at the Poetry Place during the event.

About the host:
Abbas Faiz is a poet, translator and human rights expert. He writes poems in both Persian and English and his poems have been published online and in print. He has also read them to audiences in the UK and abroad. In addition, he has translated into English poems from the 13th Century Persian poet, Rumi, and from the 14th Century Persian poet, Hafez. He has produced these translations in a series of literary events at the National Portrait Gallery and other venues. His co-translation, with Martin Turner, of صدای پای آب – Water’s Footfalls – by the contemporary Persian poet, Sohrab Sepehri, was published by Cambridge University Press and received a prize for best poetry in translation.

Open Mic

£5 or £3 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members and asylum seekers

Afghan Words and Music
and a poet from Kurdistan

A fascinating evening of poetry and music hosted by poet Suhrab Sirat
Homan Yousofi, Gulwali Passarlay, Haroon Yousofi, Shabibi Shah Nala. Music: Milad Yousofi
Special visiting guest: Choman Hardi


Homan Yousofi
Homan is a poet, playwright and short story writer born in Afghanistan. He works and teaches in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. His poems are informed by a preoccupation with the postmodern self-selection of cultural identity and how it relates to the immigrant experience. And as he himself describes, until now this has mostly resulted in poetry of sensory observance and self within nature, and the extent to which this permits a transcendence of these cultural knots. In the last few years he has also taught a number of creative writing workshops in Snowdonia National Park, along with a mindfulness tutor, as a way to open up writing for therapeutic purposes.


Gulwali Passarlay
Gulwali, arrived in the UK at the age 13 as a political refugee and was eventually awarded a place at the University of Manchester. Outside his studies he is involved with youth representation and participation work. He has also given a TEDx talk at Manchester. Gulwali has written a book on his journey from Afghanistan to the UK: The Lightless Sky, October 2015. He has campaigned for many social justice issues and causes and continues to make a positive difference in the community and has been a change maker in the society. He has appeared on national media including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 News.


Haroon Yousofi
Haroon is a satirist whose principal target is the corruption of Afghanistan’s high ranking officials in a tyranny; those who exercise power over people who have no rights and no way of challenging the legitimacy of the given hierarchy. Haroon Yousofi was born into a Kabul intellectual family in 1950. He had a literary education, studying Persian Literature at Kabul University, then Russian Literature in Moscow University. He taught Western Literature at Kabul University and translated more than a hundred Russian short stories into his language, Farsi. Plays he translated from Russian were staged in Kabul. He advised Kabul Radio on their arts output, then was head of “arts and literature” programmes for six years until he was promoted to head of Afghanistan Television. Haroon Yousofi published three collections of poems. The Independent Association of Afghan Writers published his two books of satire, The Testimony of Mirza Sadaf and I Forbid… This organisation is not “underground” but is viewed with hostility by the government and its publications are often banned or heavily censored. He had to flee Afghanistan and came to the UK as refugee in 1990.


Shabibi Shah Nala
Shabibi is a poet, writer and activist. She has a degree in journalism from Kabul University and worked as a teacher for 12 years in Afghanistan. She lived in Afghanistan as a college teacher married to a political journalist. Her husband Zafar was imprisoned by the then Communist regime. Shabibi managed to secure his release and Zafar escaped across the mountains to neighbouring Pakistan. In 1984, Shabibi and her family arrived in the UK as refugees. Her autobiography is called Where do I Belong? Shabibi has worked with numerous charities. She wrote her first novel, Innocent Deception, 2014. She is currently a trustee of the Ruth Hayman Trust, a charity helping young people’s education in the UK. She also works as a foster parent for young unaccompanied minors and has successfully fostered three boys from Afghanistan.


Rubab Sounds with Milad Yousofi
Milad Yusof is a London based Rubab player working in contemporary Afghan Folk, World-Jazz and Fusion music. He has performed at The Houses of Parliament, The White House, The British Museum, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, BBC Radio, and at an exclusive gathering for HRH The Prince of Wales among other notable places. He has toured with Tricycle Theatre’s internationally acclaimed Great Game series in New York and Washington DC, AMC’s Umrao Jaan at the Edinburgh Festival, composed for BBC Radio and feature films. Milad wishes to promote the precious sound of Afghanistan’s musical traditions and hopes to evolve the genre with his unique musical experience.


Choman Hardi
imagewas born in Kurdistan and lived in Iraq and Iran before seeking asylum in the UK in 1993. She was university-educated at Oxford (BA, Philosophy & Psychology), London (MA, Philosophy) and Kent (PhD, Mental Health) and her post-doctoral research about women survivors of genocide in Kurdistan-Iraq (supported by the Leverhulme Trust) became the subject of her second poetry collection in English, Considering the Women (2015). In 2014 she moved back to her home-city of Sulaimani where she is chair of the department of English at the American University of Iraq.

About the host: With three books published, Suhrab Sirat is a poet, writer and journalist. He was born in 1990, in Balkh Province of Afghanistan and moved to the UK in 2014. He has a Bachelor’s in Persian Language and Literature from Balkh University.His first collection of poems was published by Balkh Independent Writers Association when he was 19. His second and third books were published by Afghan PEN, a member of International PEN. 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 organisation in Persian speaking countries. Suhrab also wrote the first lyrics for the first Afghan female rapper criticising patriarchy and taboos. He represented Afghanistan at the Rio International Literary Festival (FLUPP) in 2013. He has extensive experience working with prominent media networks such as the BBC in Afghanistan.

Open Mic

Coe August

Over Land Over Sea

poems for those seeking refuge

Men, women and children cross continents on foot and risk their lives at sea. Many are driven from home by war and catastrophe. The poets offer a range of responses from grief to hope; from satire to anger.

Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX (Covent Garden tube)

Jasmine Heydari – Trevor Wright – Tania Hershman – Martin Johns – Caroline Rooney

Daniel O’Donnell-Smith – Barbara Saunders – Hubert Moore – Malka al-Haddad – Ambrose Musiyiwa

Jasmine Heydari is Iranian by descent but brought up in Sweden. Her
poems explore her own experiences of the Iran-Iraq War. She is a
freelance writer and translator.

Trevor Wright works in adult social care and facilitates writing for
wellbeing workshops.

Tania Hershman is the author of two short story collections and a
poetry chapbook. She is a Royal LIterary Fund fellow at Bristol
University and is studying for a PhD at Bath Spa University.

Martin Johns currently lives in Northamptonshire.

Caroline Rooney is an arts activist and Professor of African and
Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Kent. She has directed and
produced documentary films on refugee experiences.

Daniel O-Donnell-Smith is a PhD student at Birkbeck College and has a
chapbook Odes with Leafe Press.

Barbara Saunders is the grandchild of Russian immigrants and teaches
English to children of immigrants from China, India, Pakistan,
Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran and Serbia.

Hubert Moore has published eight poetry collections and is a long term
supporter of and writer about refugees. He has been a writing mentor
at Freedom from Torture and a Detainee Visitor.

Malka Al-Haddad is an Iraqi academic, a member of the Union of Iraqi
Writers, Director of the Women’s Centre for Arts and Culture in Iraq
and an activist with Leicester City of Sanctuary.

Ambrose Musiyiwa facilitates CivicLeicester, a community media channel
and has published three poetry pamphlets.

Open Mic

On the Front Line: Muslim and Jewish Poets Speak Out

Abol Froushan, Aviva Dautch, Nadia Fayidh Mohammed, Gabriel Spiers, Shamim Azad, Jennifer Langer

Gabriel Spiers is a rapper/spoken word poet from north west London. While at school, he developed a passion for rap music/poetry which he started to write and perform himself. Now he continues to write and perform and has frequently performed in the open mic slot of the monthly Exiled Writers Ink evening.

Shamim Azad is a bilingual author and one of the best known Bengali poets in England. She has published more than 30 books including novels, short stories and collections of poetry in English and Bengali. Her poems and translations have been published widely in magazines and anthologies.

Nadia Fayidh Mohammed is an Iraqi poet, blogger, translator and scholar of English and American poetry who left Iraq due to the increasing violence and risks Iraqi academics have suffered since 2003. She holds a PhD in American literature. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Poetry & Prose, Iraqi Free Voice, Acumen, Vision International and other poetry magazines.

Aviva Dautch is Poet in Residence at The Jewish Museum and teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the British Library. She has recently completed a PhD in contemporary poetics and has an MA (Distinction) in creative and life writing. Her poems are published widely in magazines including Ambit, MPT, The North, The Rialto and Poetry Review.

Abol Froushan was born in Tehran but left Iran in the Shah’s time to study at Imperial College where he gained his PhD. He then embarked on a career in technology alongside poetry. His poetry collections include ‘A Language Against Language’ and ‘I need your desert for my sneeze’. His translations include Ali Abdolrezaei’s “In Riskdom where I lived”. He is the Iran editor for Poetry International Web.

Jennifer Langer is editor of anthologies of exiled literature: Bend in the Road (1997); Crossing the Border: Voices of Refugee and Exiled Women (2002); Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile (2005) and If Salt has Memory: Jewish Exiled Writing (2008), Five Leaves. Her poetry has appeared in various cultural publications. She holds a PhD in the literature of exile.

Open Mic
Hosted by Penelope Maclachlan, translator and playwright

Cafe October


A night of blank verse from the front line of poetry.

Whitext is the theme of avant garde Persian language Net poetry circles, referring to a detergent that’s become the code name for blank verse also known as ‘white poems’ in Persian. This is the first live Whitext event in English with well known poets from the front lines of a region in turmoil.

Bejan Matur. Turkish poet, author and columnist.
Amarjit Chandan. noted Punjabi poet and essayist
Abol Froushan. Poet, editor and translator
Abbas Zahedi. Poet artist of #neodiaspora
Ali Abdolrezaei Poet. Host, Poet and Chair of Exiled Writers Ink

£5 or £3 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members and asylum seekers

Anger and Love

The Exiled Lit Cafe will be at The Fitzrovia Centre
2 Foley Street
London W1W 6DL

The nearest stations are Goodge Street and Oxford Circus.
Disabled Access

Anger and Love
Exiled Women Writers relate positively, negatively or ambivalently to their home country.
Music and words by Isabel Ros Lopez
Isabel Ros
Nasrin Parvaz, Mabel Encinas, Nada Menzalji, Racheal Joseph, Adina Tarry

Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Iranian Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. In 1993, she fled to England. Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002, and it was published in Italian in 2006. A novel, Temptation, based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008. Nasrin’s writings have appeared in Exiled Ink, Modern Poetry in Translation and Live Encounters Magazine. Since 2005, together with poet Hubert Moore, Nasrin has translated poems, prohibited in Iran, from Farsi into English. They appear in the Modern Poetry in Translation series.

Mabel Encinas is a member of Hispanic American Women Writers and Spanish and Latin American Poets and Writers (SLAP). Writing and art has allowed her to process her experiences as a migrant woman, and to participate in the world. She is published in two collective works of poetry and narrative, and has a collection of poetry called Intimate View. She was awarded second place in the Festival of Chilean Voices for Latin American Poets in London.

Nada Menzalji is a poet from Syria whose work has been published by the Maison de la Poesie Rhone-Alpes and has appeared in the anthology Femmes Poetes du Monde Arabe edited by poet Maram al-Masri. She has performed her work in France and is also Arabic editor for Jazeera magazine.

Adina Tarry Born in Bucharest, Romania, she is a published author of poetry, literary fiction and professional articles/books. Her work includes the novels Vitralii (Stained Glass) in Romanian (1982-85), La fete ou propos croises in French (1987-95), An Accompanying Spouse, in English (1990-95), Alicia’s Stories, in English (1995-02), For you, poetry in English (Sydney).

Racheal Joseph. Born in London to an English mother and Antiguan father, she writes short stories and poetry. Her work explores what it is to be mixed race, to be disabled, to be seen as different. Or to feel an outsider.

Open Mic

Curated and Hosted by May Al-Issa, poet and translator
£5 or £3 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members and asylum seekers

“ Strange times ”







Peter Godismo, a Nigerian poet now living in London. He has published three books: “A Snake in the King’s Palace”, “Chains and Rings” and “Miffed” and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. His poems cover a wide range of issues, from love, hate, identity, tradition and governance. Peter belongs to Exiled Writers Ink, London Poetry Society, and The Artisan in the UK. He is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Abuja literary Society(ALS), Guild of Artistes and Poets in Nigeria.

Hamdi Khalif is a poet originally from Somalia. While new on the poetry scene, she recently joined the Bards Without Borders collective, London poets from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are creating a response to Shakespeare to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. Hamdi’s poems are a fusion of both English and Somali, not only in terms of language but also in ideas and identity, covering a range of themes from loss to womanhood.

Gregory Spis
Gregory Spis, a poet and a writer. His flagship poem, ‘Short-feature tattoos’ won him an award in London. He translated from Italian into Polish Le avventure di Guizzardi by Gianni Celati. He is a member of the Polish Writers Abroad Association and two poetry groups: KaMPe & 4th Floor in POSK, Hammersmith, as well as Croydon Poets. Recently interviewed he read some of his poems on Radio Croydon.

David Clark, this evening’s host, is the child of refugees, grew up in England, Italy, and Austria, studied anthropology in Canada and East Africa. He has edited the Poetry Page for Second Generation Voices and was on the editorial committee of Exiled Ink. His poems have been published in Contemporary writers of Poland, Flying Between Words, edited by Danuta Blaszak and Anna Maria Mickiewicz (2015) and in Second Generation Voices.

Catherine Davidson is an American poet living in the UK. She has published two pamphlets of poetry and recently won commendations in the 2016 Troubadour International Poetry Prize and the 2016 Free Verse Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic. She has been living in the UK since 1992 and has written about identity as a child of a Greek Orthodox mother and Jewish father.

poetry-evening-farringdon-2016-pete-godismo-221   poetry-evening-farringdon-2016-greg-3poetry-evening-farringdon-2016-catherine-temma-davidson-7   poetry-evening-farringdon-2016-greg-david-clark-5Poetry Cafe Farringdon

Open Mic
£5 or £3 2016 Exiled Writers Ink members and asylum seekers