Skip to main content

Exiled Writers Ink; Nottingham Festival of Literature; DAWN OF THE UNREAD

‘I’m not a line that you draw,’ declaimed Shieraouf. Byron’s spirit lifted in the old George Hotel, as the young poet in exile from Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan spoke her defiance. She forms in verse the most extreme experiences, explaining that ‘19 is different’, not at all humdrum, for that is the number of Yazidi women consumed in fiery cages.

This was a rare night in November Nottingham when Exiled Writers Ink came, originally, from Iran, Israel, Bangladesh and the hills of Iraqi Kurdistan, to give voice to Jewish and Muslim writers. ‘It was a good gig,’ remarked Michael Mehrdad Zand Ahanchian, born a jew in Iran, who has spent most of his life in the United Kingdom, now drilling down into civil wars and turbulence that lie buried deep in most places. Up the road from George Street, where Michael shared his astronomical verse, Standard Hill records an English King’s fatal mistakes.

Shamim Azad clicked the rhythm in Bengali and English, explaining why she is ‘Not a Chameleon’, asserting the great strength that resides in her Bengali voice, which she shares with the students of East London, far from her native Bangladesh, from where her family fled decades ago.   

Yvonne Green transported us from Central Asia, where an antecedant had been Court Poet (not a concubine), to Golders Green, via Israel and Alexandria, the home of Omar El Hazek, Virtual Writer in Residence at Nottingham Festival of Literature, who is prevented from travelling outside Egypt. She commended the interview with Omar in LeftLion, which will become a ‘collector’s item’. ‘Jam and Jerusalem’, Yvonne’s spiky poem about Golders Green, traced the history of Knights Templar on that Manor, their riches, down to the ‘writer-descendents’ of Ducksetters Lane, whose divisive copy bombards Londoners in all their variety. She described the poem as ‘rough stuff’.

The Nottingham Festival of Literature is a rare thing fine as a beeswing. Catch it while you can. Tomorrow, Friday, we launch Dawn of the Unread at Antenna, Beck Street, at 7.30pm. Shieraouf, a graphic fan, seems intrigued by these tales of avenging Nottingham writers.


https://nottsfol.co.uk/event/dawn-of-the-unread 
 
Tony Simpson
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:


***
For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Brexit Diary: Generous to a Fault

Generous to a Fault

Hapless Theresa May stepped nervously into the June European Council in Brussels. Her own status at such meetings is now qualified by the UK’s notification to withdraw from the European Union, which takes effect in March 2019. She can no longer participate in Council discussions about Brexit and has to leave the room. Before she departed the dinner table last night, however, Mrs May outlined an ‘offer’ on the rights of European Union citizens residing in the UK once that country has left the EU. The full ‘offer’ is due to be submitted in writing on Monday 26 June.

Of course, citizens’ rights are codified in law and guaranteed by treaty, to which the UK has acceded. Accordingly, millions of people have moved around the European Union, with many of them settling in the United Kingdom to live and work. The UK has legal obligations towards them. Continuity in their rights is required, if and when the UK leaves the EU. 

The initial response to Mrs May’s remarks from group…

Nuclear Posture Review: Two letters of protest from Japan

The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation received copies of the following letters, dated 6 February 2018, from the Japan Council against A and H Bombs. The letters, written in response to the publication of the US Nuclear Posture Review, are addressed to President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We ask that as many people and organisations as possible circulate these letters as an act of solidarity with anti-nuclear campaigners in "Japan, the A-bombed country".

* * *

To President Donald Trump United States of America 6 February 2018
Letter of Protest against the US Nuclear Posture Review
We, of the people of Japan, the A-bombed country, strongly protest against your nuclear policy formulated in the newly released ‘Nuclear Posture Review’, which brings the US much closer to the actual use of nuclear weapons by modernizing your nuclear arsenals and developing new nuclear weapons.
Trying to justify that nuclear weapons are necessary for security, the Nuclear Post…