Poetry From Iraq
The Mosaic Rooms invites you to join us for an evening of screenings, discussion and readings reflecting on recent poetry from Iraq.
In 2013 the Reel Iraq Festival held workshops in Erbil as part of the Erbil Literature Festival (in association with the British Council and Literature Across Frontiers) which led to the creation of new translations of Iraqi poets Zaher Mousa, Awezan Nouri, Ghareeb Iskander and Sabreen Kadhim.
Whilst in Erbil these poets also worked with acclaimed documentary film maker Roxana Vilk, who produced a number of poetry films from the project. These films offer a glimpse into the lives of these poets living and working in Iraq as well as showing the relationships that were formed through the translation process.
The evening will start with a special preview screening of these films, followed by a discussion with the translator Lauren Pyott and the film maker Roxana Vilk, chaired by Syrian actor and film maker Ammar Haj Ahmad, about the process, experiences and the poets featured. This will be followed by live readings from acclaimed Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh in Arabic, with translator Stephen Watts reading in English. Audiences will have the opportunity to ask participants questions at the end.
Adnan al-Sayegh is one of the most original voices from the generation of Iraqi poets known as the Eighties Movement. He has published ten collections and won international awards for his poetry. In 1996 he published Uruk’s Anthem – a book-length poem – in which he richly articulates deep despair at the Iraqi experience. On its publication he was sentenced to death in Iraq and took refuge in Sweden. Since 2004 he has been living in exile in London.
Lauren Pyott has been involved in the Reel Festivals since 2010 as Literature Coordinator and Arabic translator. This included coordinating and participating in these translation workshops in Erbil. She is currently the Arabic Editor at the independent publishing house Comma Press, where she is working on ‘Iraq + 100’ with Iraqi author Hassan Blasim.
Roxana Vilk is an award winning Iranian British film and theatre artist, writer, performer and musician. Recent productions include a commission for Al Jazeera English TV to produce a six part documentary film series Poets of Protest, and a film Iranian Enough? produced by the BBC to be broadcast in the UK this spring.
This event is organised in cooperation with Reel Festivals.