Highlight Arts at Lahore Literary Festival

February 17, 2016

We’re very excited to have three unique events at the festival featuring 16 artists from the UK and Pakistan in conversation and collaboration in Lahore. They will share newly translated poems and musical outpourings which aims to reflect the role that art plays in creating bridges between cultures.

The three events will feature: Afshan Sajjad, Jim Carruth, Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan, Katherine Sowerby, Kishwar Naheed, Gerry Cambridge, Ali Akbar Natiq and Vicki Husband reading new translations plus music from Sara Kazmi & Sarah Hayes who will play together for the first time. Storytellers Mujahid Esha and Ian Stephen will speak of legends and fables from Pakistan and Scotland with visuals and illustrations from Mehreen Fatima and Kate Leiper.

Visit our artist page to read various biographies and info about the performers and collaborators.

Exact dates and details of all the exciting events have LLF have been published by the Lahore Literature Festival.

City to City: Poetry from Glasgow to Lahore

Ali Akbar

Ali Akbar Natiq

6.15pm, 20 February — Avari Hotel, Tollington

Leading lights of Glasgow’s poetry scene along with contemporaries from Lahore will be reunited on stage for a unique evening of readings to celebrate the launch of a new anthology of Urdu & English poetry.  The poets will share translated poems & collaborations which reflect their friendships as well as the role that art plays in creating bridges between cultures.

Featuring: Afshan Sajjad, Jim Carruth, Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan, Katherine Sowerby, Kishwar Naheed, Gerry Cambridge,Ali Akbar Natiq, Vicki Husband


In partnership with The British Council and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The first leg of the project began in Lahore back in November 2014. Last year City to City  visited both London & Glasgow in the UK.

Music Cities: Songs from Glasgow and Lahore


Sarah Hayes

6.15pm, 20 February — Avari Hotel, Tollington

Join Lahore’s Sara Kazmi & Glasgow’s Sarah Hayes for an audial adventure as they explore traditional and contemporary sounds through song & stories. In this very special collaboration these musicians blend ragas with celtic folk tunes, loops, electronic effects and Punjabi poetry.

Featuring: Sara Kazmi and Sarah Hayes

In partnership with The British Council and the Edinburgh International Book Festival





Story Swap: Stories and Illustration from Scotland & Pakistan

Ian Stephen

Ian Stephen

6.15pm, 21 February — Avari Hotel, Tollington

Storytellers Ian Stephen and Mujahid Eshai share legends, lies, & fabled delights from the Scottish islands to the Pakistani mountains in a gripping evening of newly learned & freshly translated tale-telling. Close your eyes and let your imagination drift or keep them open to enjoy stunning new visuals from Mehreen Fatima andKate Leiper.

Featuring: Mujahid Esha, Mehreen Fatima, Kate Leiper and Ian Stephen

In partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund and the British Council

Highlight Arts Presents City to City: Poetry and Music in Translation

May 17, 2015

Glasgow & Lahore are reunited in poetry & music. Highlight Arts & the British Council have been working with poets and musicians from the UK and Pakistan and I’ll be hosting these unique collaborative events in Glasgow & London with a cohort of international talent.
Alchemy Glasgow — 6pm, Thursday 21 May, Featuring: Afshan Sajjad, Jim Carruth, Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan, Katherine Sowerby, Kishwar Naheed, Gerry Cambridge, Ali Akbar Natiq, Vicki Husband, Pakistan musician Sara Kazmi & musicians from Scotland playing together for the first time.
The Southbank Centre, London — 2.30pm, Saturday 23 May,Poets from India and Pakistan are united onstage with contemporaries from Wales and Scotland, recently returned from residencies in Mumbai, Kolkata and Lahore.

Afshan Sajjad and Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan from Pakistan appear alongside Jeet Thayil, Tishani Doshi, Ranjit Hoskote and Sampurna Chattarji from India. They are joined by Welsh poets Joe Dunthorne, Jonathan Edwards, Eurig Salisbury and Rhian Edwards, and Jim Carruth and Katherine Sowerby from Scotland.

Together, the poets present new translations and poems inspired by their recent trips, and reflect on the role that poetry can play in creating bridges between cultures.

Ryan Boots Creativity

November 12, 2013

Jacqueline Smith has interviewed a swathe of poets from around the Commonwealth at her [email protected] events, and now they are collected in one beautifully curated e-book published by The PotHole Press.

Inspiration From the Common Wealth of Writers to Boost Creativity draws together a series of interviews of writers which focused on aspects of crafting as well as inspirations and influences in their writing.

Jacqueline’s accompanying commentary frames the inspiring responses from the contributors which will encourage readers and writers to happily consider that there are actions we can take to boost our creativity when it seems to be waning.
The writers interviewed were Kei Miller from Jamaica, John Rice, Alan Riach, Brian Whittingham, Viv Gee, Anita Govan, Alan MacGillivray, Donny O’Rourke, and  Liz Niven, all from Scotland, Gerry Cambridge from England, Skye Loneragan from Australia, Gerrie Fellows from New Zealand,Ryan Van Winkle from the USA, and Tawona Sithole from Zimbabwe.
It’s available from Amazon, Kobo and Apple iBooks stores.

Podcast Bonanza!!!!

August 5, 2010

SPL Podcasts You May Have Missed

I’ve not updated you all on the last 6 podcasts or so not because I forgot, not because I think you don’t care, not because they aren’t any good — but because I was away from work for a while. So, here’s a list of the fine fine programmes you missed. Special thanks to Colin Fraser and Peggy Hughes of ANON for keeping these going and for doing some interviews for me. If anyone is curious about these and doesn’t know where to start — I highly recommend the amazing Kei Miller who has to stunning collections of poetry and a great novel under his belt. He is a beautiful man. It is a luxury to have him in your ears, I assure you. What are you waiting for? Catch up now!