Dr Nazand Begikhani in the Erbil Citadel

What better way to start off 2013 than by taking a trip to Erbil, Iraq with the Reel Festivals and a cohort of excellent poets? We’ve been working with Reel Festivals for a number of years now, and this time we’re heading to the city of Erbil in Northern Iraq, home of the Kurdistan Parliament and the Erbil Literature Festival.

We’ve invited four Scottish/Scottish-based poets along: the amazing John Glenday, who needs zero introduction, TS Eliot prizewinner and full-time Shetlander Jen Hadfield, our friend William Letford whose first book “Bevel” should be rocking your reading list immediately, and Krystelle Bamford, proud owner of a New Writers Award.

They’ll be working with Iraqi writers Ghareeb Iskander, author of the 2009 collection Chariot of Illusion, Kurdish poet and women’s rights activist Awezan Nouri, Baghdad based poet and journalist Sabreen Khadhim and emerging poet Zahir Mousa and all will all be joining us on the return journey to the UK to participate in the Reel Iraq Festival from 21-24 March in Dumfries, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow! Wow, that was a long sentance! But please, do keep these dates free in your diaries.

We’re really grateful to Creative Scotland their funding of this project, which couldn’t have happened without their help. Remember to check out Reel Festivals’ Twitter and Facebook profiles to keep up to date on all of our upcoming projects.