After the gigantic Poetry Parnassus in the wide open spaces of the South Bank, come and hear some of today's best poets from round the world in the remarkable intimate space of The Tent at St Ethelburga's
"He longs for travel and freedom, Bourne by the wind ...... he journeys to his distant star " (Al Saddiq al-Raddi)
Presented by Raficq Abdulla and Stephen Watts (who will also read their work)
Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (Sudan)
Fatieh Saudi (Jordan)
Sharanya Manivannan (India)
Ziba Karbassi (Iran)
With music from Kalia Baklitzanaki (voice/ney)
More about the performers
Raficq Abdulla: Born in South Africa of Muslim parents, Raficq Abdulla is an Oxford-educated barrister, as well as a writer, public speaker, and broadcaster. He was formerly the University Secretary and legal adviser to Kingston University, where he presently serves as Visiting Fellow. His publications include Words of Paradise, a new collection of interpretations of the poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), and a fresh interpretation of Conference of the Birds, the allegorical poem by the medieval poet and mystic, Farid al-Din Attar (1142-1220). He has been a regular reviewer of books on Islam for many years and has published articles on issues concerning identity, Islamophobia, and the aftermath of the Salman Rushdie affair. He has also written on John Ruskin. Over the past 15 years, Raficq Abdulla has written and presented a large number of programmes on Islam for BBC World Service radio, including The Four Caliphs, Rumi, The Conference of the Birds, and a series on the life of The Prophet Muhammad. He has written screenplays for Channel 4, including the award-winning films Blood of Hussein, and Born of Fire.He is a trustee of the Poetry Society, Planet Poetry and of PEN.In 1999, Raficq Abdulla was awarded an MBE for his interfaith work among Muslims, Jews, and Christians
Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (Sudan) is one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic today. He has gained a wide audience in his native Sudan for his imaginative approach to poetry and for the delicacy and emotional frankness of his lyrics. Saddiq was born in 1969 and grew up in Omdurman Khartoum where he still lives. He is the cultural editor of Al-Sudani newspaper. His first poetry collection Songs of Solitude was published in 1996 (second edition, 1999). He has also published The Sultan's Labyrinth (1996) and The Far Reaches of the Screen... (1999 & 2000); all three collections were published in one volume as Saddiq's collected poems in Cairo in 2009.
Kalia Baklitzanaki (singer/ney) is a singer and nay (Arabic flute) player, performing music of the Mediterranean and Middle East. She specialises in Greek traditional song especially from the island of Crete where she is from. She has trained in a wide variety of vocal traditions from around the world such as Afghan (Hussein Arman), Iraqi (Anouar A 16b4 bu Dragh, Ehsan Emam), Hungarian (Marta Sebestyen), and Classical Arabic (Abdulsalam Kheir). Originally a classical flautist, Kalia later turned to the nay which she studied with Louai Henawi (Syria), Mohammad Antar (Egypt) and Omer Erdogdular (Turkey). Her educational work has included projects introducing children to the music and instruments of the Mediterranean and Middle East at the Barbican Centre,Chelsea Music Academy, First Music Academy and Pembroke Music Academy amongst others. Kalia also works as a performer in hospitals, hospices and day-care centres, as a duo with Vasilis Sarikis (Middle Eastern percussion), with organisations such as ‘Live Music Now’, ‘Music in Hospitals’, and ‘Vital Arts’, which bring music into spaces that would not normally have live performances.
Fathieh Saudi (Jordan), ompleted her medical studies in France and worked as a paediatrician with disadvantaged children in Jordan and Lebanon. She has been involved for more than 30 years with the defense of human rights, peace and justice, in particular in the Middle East.Her previous publications include l’Oubli Rebelle in French and Days of Amber in Arabic. She has translated several books from English and French into Arabic including La cause des enfants by Francoise Dolto. In 2008 she published her first collection of poetry in English, The Prophets – A Poetic Journey from Childhood to Prophecy. John Berger wrote an introduction to the second edition. This collection has been translated into French in 2008.She is recipient of several awards for her medical, humanitarian and cultural work, including Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite from France. Currently she is Board member of English PEN, Committee member of Exiled Writers Ink and member of the Society of Authors
Sharanya Manivannan (India): Sharanya Manivannan was born in Madras, India in 1985, and grew up in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Her first book of poems, Witchcraft (Bullfighter Books, 2008), was praised in The Straits Times as being “sensuous and spiritual, delicate and dangerous and as full as the moon reflected in a knife”. She is currently working on a book of stories (The High Priestess Never Marries), a novel (Constellation of Scars), as well as two manuscripts of new poems (Bulletproof Offering and Cadaver Exquisito).She received the Lavanya Sankaran Fellowship for 2008-2009 from Sangam House International Writers’ Residency, an Elle Fiction Award 2012 (for “Greed and the Gandhi Quartet”) and was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize (for “I Will Come Bearing Mangoes”, Rougarou, Fall 2011).
Ziba Karbassi was born in Tabriz in 1974 but had to leave her homeland in the mid-1980’s & has since lived in exile in London. She has published seven books of poetry & is widely acknowledged as one of the very best & most influential of contemporary poets in Persian. Although banned in Iran, her work is very widely read there online & is particularly loved by younger generations. She has also read widely in the UK, north America & across Europe to great acclaim. Hers is a dense and open-meshed lyric poetry that achieves a balanced intensity rare in contemporary writing. A chapbook of her poems in English translation ‘Collage Poems’ was published by Exiled Writers Ink in 2009, a trilingual book with accompanying CD by Mille Gru in Milan in 2011 & a full UK collection is due out bilingually from Waterloo Press later in 2012, individual poems having previously appeared in such journals as Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Wolf & Shearsman.
Stephen Watts Stephen Watts is a poet, editor & translator. His own most recent books include ‘Gramsci & Caruso’(2004), ‘Mountain Language/Lingua di montagna’(2008) & ‘Journey Across Breath/Tragitto nel respiro’(2011). Recent co-translations include books of Kurdish poetry, volumes by Ziba Karbassi, Meta Kušar, Adnan al-Sayegh & A.N. Stencl & an edition of Amarjit Chandan’s work. Current projects include a new edition of ‘Mother Tongues’, an online bibliography of poetry in English trans-lation & co-translations of Victor Sunyol, Gregor Strnisa & Tonino Guerra. He has read internationally, in Syria in 2010 & most recently in Monza & Ravenna in Italy in 2011 & 2012. He has often worked in schools & hospitals as a writer on issues of wellbeing & creativity & in 2006 worked with HI-Arts on issues of suicide in remote cultures. He’s lived in Whitechapel for over thirty years where much of his work is community based. He was a Hawthorden Fellow in 1993 & has twice won 2nd Prize in the National Poetry Competition (in 1983 & 1992).
London, EC2N 4AG
|Poetry Reading||£ 10.00|
|Poetry reading - concessions||£ 5.00|
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