Refugee Week

Refugee week

Exiled Writers Ink and Keats House present:

‘Writing Hurts’

Join us for an evening of poetry and discussion with poets
Dr Fouad M. Fouad, Dr Jennifer Langer and Ziba Karbassi

Thursday, 22nd June 2023
6:30 – 8:30 pm 
Keats House, Keats Grove London NW3 2RR

Syrian doctor poet Fouad M. Fouad left his city of Aleppo in 2012 and took refuge in Lebanon. He now lives in London. He has published five collections, the most recent being Once Upon a Time in Aleppo (Hippocrates Press, 2020). The poems record the witness of an outraged doctor and writer in desperate times.</>

Ziba Karbassi was born in Tabriz, Iran. She has published ten 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 widely across Europe and America. Translations by Stephen Watts have appeared in such journals as Poetry Review and Modern Poetry in Translation. She was chairperson of the Iranian Writers Association (in exile) from 2002 to 2004, editor of Asar-nameh and on the editorial committee of Exiled Ink literature magazine in London. In 2012, she was chosen by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre (CPRC) at Birkbeck, University of London, as a revolutionary world poet.

Jennifer Langer is the founding director of Exiled Writers Ink, editor of five anthologies of exiled literature and a poet. Her debut poetry collection is The Search (Victorina Press, 2021) which is an exploration of the poet’s complex identity as the daughter of German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany for Britain.

Tickets: £5 from

Exiled Writers Ink Workshop

To celebrate Refugee Week and World Refugee Day Exiled Writers Ink and Barnet Libraries invite refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and other displaced people to a free workshop focused on the theme of memory.

Led by Yvonne Green, a poet, translator and teacher, attendees are asked to bring or just talk about objects from home, pass them around and explain the significance of the objects to them.

Yvonne will also be sharing a poem in discussion with the group and incorporating ‘compassion’
which is the official theme for Refugee Week this year.

Please bring something to describe such as a photo, clothing or another object.

Colindale Library

Tuesday 20 June 6pm – 7.30pm

Address: c/o Barnet & Southgate College, 7 Bristol Avenue,

Colindale, London NW9 4BR

For bookings please enquire at the library during staffed opening hours or email

Friday 24th June 2016 at 8 pm
Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford, IG1 1EA

Eleni Cay, Musa Dembele, Navid Hamzavi, Suhrab Sirat and Edin Suljic will read and perform hosted by Shamim Azad

Eleni Cay is a Slovakian-born published poet living in Manchester. Her first collection, A butterfly’s tremblings in the digital age (which is written in Slovakian), was published in 2013, after she won a national poetry competition in her native country Slovakia. Eleni’s English language poems were published in two pamphlets -Colours of the Swan and Autumn Dedications-and featured in MK Calling 2013 & 2015, anthologies (e.g., Mother’s Milk); poetry magazines (e.g., Envoi) and as the ‘best poetry videos on the web’ (Moving Poems). Eleni is currently studying the MA Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Musa Dembele from Burkina Faso, was born into a family of musicians and instrument makers that go back generations. He is a master craftsman of traditional West African instruments and accomplished musician and teacher. He has toured extensively throughout Africa, Europe and Israel, in particular with his band – ‘Koroleko’. He also spent many years based in Ghana where he played lead Balafon for the renowned Pan-African Orchestra.from Burkina Faso, was born into a family of musicians and instrument makers that go back generations.

Navid Hamzavi is an award-wining Iranian writer. He is currently doing his MA on Cultural and Critical Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. The first collection of his stories,”Rag-and-Bone man”, was published in 2010, and was severely censored by the Ministry of Cultural and Islamic Guidance. Having difficulties in publishing his stories, he recently came to London, he has been pursuing his career in writing and performing. He has given readings and performance at various festivals such as “Brighton Festival” , “Hardy Tree Gallery” and “Exiled Writer Ink” and some of his stories appeared in English magazines such as”Ambit”, “Stand” and “Critical Muslim”.

Suhrab Sirat is a poet, writer and journalist. He was born in 1990, in Balkh Province of Afghanistan. His first collections of poems were published by Balkh Independent Writers Association published by Afghan PEN, a member of International PEN. He is 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. Suhrab has also written the first lyrics for the first Afghan female rapper criticizing patriarchy and taboos. He has represented Afghanistan at the Rio International Literary Festival (FLUPP) in 2013. Apart from his activities and achievement in literature, he has extensive experience working with prominent media networks such as BBC in Afghanistan.born in Afghanistan

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. Edin Lives and works in London

Shamim Azad is the most known Bengali poet in England. She has published more than 30 books including novels, short stories and poetry in English and Bengali. She is the first poet of Bangladeshi origin ever to have performed in the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe (2011) and worked for cultural Olympiad 2012. She is currently working on a new Arts Council funded project called Bards without Borders – where migrant and refugee poets respond to Shakespeare.

Workshop for Refugee Week 2015 in collaboration with the Wiener Library, Russell Square, facilitated by Lynette Craig. The title of the workshop was ‘First Impressions’, discussing the experiences of refugees and their first impressions of arriving in the UK. The resources of the Wiener Library were used to create stories.


We invite refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to register

Thursday 19th June 2014

2 pm to 5 pm

Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

Prior registration essential:

Exiled Writers Ink in partnership with the Wiener Library

Free Workshop for Refugee Week 2013
Exiled Writers Ink present
Free workshop for Refugee Week for refugees and exiles
“I’m not going back.”
A writing workshop based on what a refugee sees, thinks and feels on arrival in the UK. We shall use the resources of The Wiener Library to create stories and poems which convey what it is like to be an ‘alien’ landed in a new place, not yet, nor perhaps never to be, called ‘home.’
Tutor Lynette Craig MPhil Cert Ed LGSM
Thursday 20th June 2013
2pm – 5pm
The Wiener Library
29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP
(nearest tube station: Russell Square or Goodge Street)
Register Now!

refugee week


Writing from Life: Poetry workshops with Choman Hardi

Sunday 13 June Seminar Room 2, Sackler Centre

Discover and develop your poetry writing skills with Choman Hardi. Born in Kurdistan and raised in Iraq and Iran, Choman is an experienced poet, teacher and academic researcher. To explore her publications and work please click here

10.30-13.00 Workshop 1: No writing experience necessary

14.00-16.30 Workshop 2: For those who are already writing poetry

Please note: These free workshops are for refugees and asylum seekers only.

Places are limited to 12 per workshop.

Free, advance booking essential.

To book, call +44 (0)20 7942 2211

Making Space Sunday 20 June 11.30-16.00

See poets: Chinwe Azubuike (Nigeria) Alfredo Cordal (Chile) Yang Lian (China) Bart Wolffe (Zimbabwe) and musicians: tbc from Exiled Writers Ink  perform at selected structures in the 1:1 – Architects Build Small Spaces exhibition. Half hour performances will take place at the following structures: Helen and Hard (John Madejski Garden) Sou Fujimoto (Room 127, Architecture Gallery landing) Terunobu Fujimori (Daylit Gallery, Medieval and Renaissance) Rintala Eggertsson (Room 25, below National Art Library Staircase)

Free, drop-in

refugee week



4 Book Group Evenings FOR Refugee Week at Borders Bookshop, 203 Oxford Street, London W1D 2LE, at 7 pm

* Buy the book at Borders Bookshop
* Read the book
* Discuss the book with the writer and other people
* Coffee and refreshments
* Free
* Help with buying the books for asylum seekers
* Come to one book group evening or as many as you wish
* Let us know you are coming

Monday 9th June: Hamid Ismailov – The Railway, translated by Robert Chandler, published Vintage, 2007
Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist and writer who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992. His works are banned in Uzbekistan. He has published numerous books in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages.

Wednesday 11th June: Yang Lian – RIDING PISCES: POEMS FROM FIVE COLLECTIONS, pub Shearsman, June 2008
After the Tiananmen Square massacre, Yang Lian became a poet of exile in New Zealand and Australia. He is one of China’s most prominent poets.



Monday 16th June: Haifa Zangana – Women on a Journey between Baghdad and London, translated by Judy Cumberbatch, published Texas University Press, 2006
Haifa Zangana is a novelist and journalist and former prisoner of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

Thursday 19th June: Sulaiman Addonia – The Consequences of Love, Chatto and Windus, July 2008
This is his debut novel. Sulaiman Addonia is a writer and academic who lived in Sudan and Saudi Arabia before coming to the UK in 1990 as an Eritrean rugee.

Tuesday 19th June 2007 at 7 pm
Exiled Writers Ink with Borders Bookshop Islington

Borders Bookshop in the N1 Shopping Centre, Parkfield Street, Islington N1 0PS
Tube: Angel


Gillian Slovo
South African born Gillian Slovo is the author of ten novels as well as a family memoir, Every Secret Thing. Her novels include Red Dust, winner of the RFI Temoin du Monde prize which has also been made into a film, and Ice Road which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her new novel, to be published in 2008, is about what it is to be a foreigner in Britain.

Exiled Poets:

Iranian born: Shadab Vajdi
She has had numerous collections published in Persian. Closed Circuit (translated into English from the poet`s Persian works by Lotfali Khonji), was published in London and Boston (Forest Books, 1989). Collections of her work have also been translated into German and Swedish.

Faziry Mafutala, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo
He has lived in the UK since 1996, having had to flee becasue he was under threat. This arose as a result of becoming involved in the political activities of the main opposition party whilst working at the Ministry of Education in DRC. His poetry is inspired by the story-telling tradition.

Chaired by: Carole Angier

The biographer of Jean Rhys and Primo Levi. She is working on a new book, and writing and translating refugees’ and asylum seekers’ stories.

Exiled Writers Ink invites you to an evening of the senses for refugee week:

Forced To Leave
Poetry and music with eritrean restaurant dinner

Wednesday 14th June 2006 at 7.00 pm
Zigni House, 330 Essex Road, London N1 3PB
(At street level, nearest tube: Angel, buses: 38, 56, 73, 341, 476)


Mahmood Jamal launching his latest collection ‘Sugar-Coated Pill’. His other books include Modern Urdu Poetry and Silence Inside a Gun’s Mouth. He is a progressive poet, filmmaker and translator who writes in Urdu and English. He has been published in a wide range of anthologies, had his work broadcast on radio and TV, and been translated into several languages.

Ziba Karbassi (Iran) one of the rising stars of Iranian poetry, Ziba Karbassi left Iran in 1989. She has published five collections of poetry in exile: With a Broken Star in my Heart, Scorpion under the Pillow, The Sea will Drown, Jizz and Collage.

Alfredo Cordal (Chile) is a performance poet and playwright. He has written The Last Judgement, The Investiture of El Dorado, Smoking Mirror and A Passion in Buenos Aires. His poetry has appeared in a range of publications.

Senait Gebremichael (Eritrea): in hommage to the revered Eritrean poet: Reesom Haile

Amna Dumpor (Bosnia): left Mostar in 1992. Her collection of poetry is entitled Tears in the Heart

Berhane Gebrekidan: Eritrean musician

Michele Celeste: alternative songwriter and playwright

£12 per person – traditional Eritrean buffet, vegetarian and meat (halal) dishes – Eritrean coffee ceremony and coffee

Tickets must be booked in advance!

£12 per person: traditional Eritrean buffet, vegetarian and meat (halal) dishes.
Eritrean coffee ceremony and coffee – Free copy of ‘Exiled Ink!’ magazine.
Some free places for newly-arrived asylum seekers.
Please send cheque payable to Exiled Writers Ink to: Jennifer Langer, 31 Hallswelle Road, London NW11 0DH