2021

A joyful, imaginative, subversive evening of liberation

Nick Makoha
Abol Froushan
Erkut Tokman
Mehrangiz Rassapour
Mabel and Isobel
Atef Alshaer

Music

Atef Alshaer is a published poet and translator. He is the author of several publications in the fields of language, literature and politics, including Love and Poetry in the Middle East. He is a Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster.

Mabel Encinas-Sánchez became a migrant by chance (later she remembered that mum and dad were also migrants – but inside Mexico). She works in education, which she considers a political act and an act of love and hope. Her first book, I am Adila from Gaza, is for children, and deals with themes of loss and hope.

Abol Froushan is a poet, critic and Iran editor of Poetry International.

The founder of Obsidian, Nick Makoha is a Ugandan poet and playwright based in London. His debut Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni, he won the 2015 Brunel prize and 2016 Derricotte & Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. He was the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for The Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri. His play The Dark was directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander and shortlisted for the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri.

Mehrangiz Rassapour (M. Pegah), poet, literary critic and editor of Vajeh (Word) magazine, was born in the South West of Iran. She has published four collections of poetry in Persian. Her work has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, Polish and Italian. Her first collection in English is The Planet of the Immortals (Exiled Writers Ink, 2021).

Isabel Ros-López was born a migrant and has been writing poetry and songs since childhood. She is still at it. She wants to change the world with others, with you. Peace and social justice. Together. She publishes and records when she can; mostly works, sings and performs. She says that intersectional feminism rocks!

Erkut Tokman joins us from Istanbul.

He is a Turkish poet, actor, visual artist, editor and translator. He is one of the founders of AÇIK ŞİİR (OPEN POETRY) movement which is mainly dedicated to avant garde and interdisciplinary performance poetry. He has five poetry books published, the latest one is called Lupoc (2019). His interviews with Orhan Pamuk, Joyce Carol Oates, Adonis, Aslı Erdoğan, Milo De Angelis, Knut Odegard etc. are published in international magazines such as WLT, İtalian PEN review, Poesis International. He won the İtalian Ministry of Culture Translation award, 2019; ‘Messina Citta di Arta’ international poetry prize and ‘Salvotore Quasimodo Jaci Poetry Award’ in Italy. He is the president of the İntercultural Poetry and Translation Academy of Turkey (IPTAT) and member of Turkish and İtalian P.E.N working in WiPC (Writers in Prison Committee).

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