It’s a real pleasure to be launching This Room is Waiting with my co-editor Lauren Pyott this Monday 30 June at Word Power Books in Edinburgh. We’ve got readings from Ghareeb Iskander, John Glenday and Krystelle Bamford, and films from Roxana Vilk. Hope to see you there.

At a time of deepening crisis for Iraq and its people, join us for an exciting evening of poetry in translation from some of Iraq and Scotland’s greatest poets. Following on from the Reel Iraq translation project in 2013, Reel Festivals brings you This Room is Waiting (Freight Books), “a ground breaking anthology” (TheTanjara) of poems harvested from the riches of translation.

To launch the book, Ghareeb Iskander, John Glenday and Krystelle Bamford will be reading poems from the anthology and sharing their experiences of friendship and collaboration through poetry.

About the anthology:

Four award-winning UK poets come together with four Iraqi poets to create a truly unforgettable anthology that sheds new light on real lives in contemporary post-war Iraq.

UK poets Jen Hadfield, winner of the TS Eliot Prize, Billy Letford, Krystelle Bamford and John Glenday collaborate with four contemporary Iraqi poets, including acclaimed Zahir Mousa, Sabreen Kadhim, Ghareeb Iskander and Kurdish Iraqi, Awezan Nouri. Working with literal translations of the Arabic and Kurdish poems, the English language poets have created new ‘versions’, startling works that channel the anger, fear, hurt, hope, joy and fragile optimism of the originals, reconnecting readers with the realities of real life in post-invasion Iraq, far beyond the banalities of cyclical western media stories.

‘What if it was our culture, our country that was invaded?’ is the question asked. This Room is Waiting fashions an extraordinary portrait of a country rebuilding after war.