Blog

Ryan is guest editor on the new edition of PENning Magazine

December 26, 2016

The new edition of PENning Magazine, the publication of Scottish PEN, is now available. Scottish PEN is an excellent organisation and I’m really delighted to be a member – PEN has done marvelous work supporting writers at risk around the world and your membership really counts. For more information about becoming a member, take a look here.

PENning: Messages features work in translation from exiled Syrian-Kurdish poet Golan Haji (translated by Marilyn Hacker) and Finnish poet Pekka Kytomaki (translated by Donald Adamson), poems from Gerda Stevenson, A.C. Clarke and Brian Johnstone, and a short story from Lynsey Calderwood. You can read it all in glorious technicolour pdf here.

Scottish Poetry Library Podcast: Ryan’s Last Cut

May 11, 2015

For seven years Colin Fraser and I have been making the Scottish Poetry Library podcast. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to interview over 100 poets, many of whom you’ll know. In this, our final episode, we look back at some of my favourite moments. In this very special episode, you’ll hear candid clips, bemused moments, revelations and advice from some of the world’s most talented and generous poets. My sincere thanks to everyone who has allowed me to talk with them over the years and we wish Jennifer Williams and Colin Waters the best in helming the SPL podcast from here.

Featuring: Robert Pinsky, Caroline Bird, Sarah Broom, Owen Sheers, Jed Milroy, Matthew Zapruder, Jane Hirshfield, Golan Haji, Sabreen Khadim, Krystelle Bamford, John Glenday, Mark Doty, Paula Meehan, Adam Zagajewski and Mary Ruefle.

And if you want to continue listening to the podcasts Colin & I make, you can find all sorts of conversations on our Culture Laser podcast including favourites like this conversation with the playwright Jo Clifford.

If you enjoyed our final episode or want to share your favourite memories from our SPL podcast you can tweet to [email protected] or just drop me a line. We’d love to hear what were your favourite poetry podcast conversations.

Ryan Comperes the Highlight Arts Launch

September 30, 2014

This Thursday 2 October I’ll have the great pleasure of hosting and introducing a night of poetry, music and cinema to launch Highlight Arts, the organisation formerly known as Reel Festivals. The line-up is outstanding, including Golan Haji coming all the way from Syria, doors are at 7.30pm, tickets are free but do book in advance.

Join us for the launch of HIGHLIGHT ARTS.

FREE EVENT with international music, poetry and film, featuring:
– Shooglenifty
– Golan Haji (Syria)
– Krystelle Bamford
– Emily Ballou
– Kaela Rowan
– DJ Dolphin Boy
– Short films from Iraq, Syria and more…
– Complimentary food and drink

Thursday October 2nd 2014
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Start: 7.30pm

Tickets are FREE but limited to 4 per person – available via website or box office.
Tel: 0131 556 9579
http://www.tracscotland.org/scottish-storytelling-centre/centre-events/1884/highlight-arts-launch-event

Event details:

The team behind Reel Festivals (Reel Syria, Reel Iraq and Reel Afghanistan), would like to invite you to join us in ushering in a new era as ‘Reel’ becomes ‘Highlight Arts’ (www.highlightarts.org)

Featuring a hand-picked selection of international music, poetry and film from Reel’s ground-breaking projects past, present and a with a nod to what’s in store for the future.

Just announced: Syrian poet and author Golan Haji will be flying in for the event and will be involved in some poetry translations.

What: Highlight Arts Launch

Where: Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 High Street, Edinburgh

When: Thursday 2 October, 7.30pm

How Much: FREE.

Ryan is all over the Edinburgh International Book Festival

July 29, 2014

I’ll be chairing two events and reading at two more this year at the EIBF. Great to be back in sunny Charlotte Square!

SYRIA SPEAKS: AN EVENING OF RESISTANCE & CELEBRATION

Tue 12 Aug 9:00pm – 11:00pm — The Guardian Spiegeltent

Reel Festivals presents Syria Speaks, a celebration of contemporary Syrian writing and music. With readings from Samar Yazbek’s Pinter Prize-winning war diaries and Malu Halasa’s sly (but not shy) Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie, this event highlights the humour, resilience and strength of Syrian art, even in these most challenging times. Through the poetry of Golan Haji, the adventures of novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab, and the storytelling and songs of the irrepressible Raast Collective, Syria Speaks will make you laugh, cry and maybe even dance.

GRAY: THE COLOUR OF SCOTLAND (Chair)

Wed 13 Aug 1:30pm – 2:30pm — Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Of Me and Others is as close to Alasdair Gray’s autobiography as we are likely to get. Described by its editor Alistair Braidwood as ‘ribald, humorous, angry and incisive’, this new tome by one of Scotland’s literary superstars describes his meetings with authors such as Anthony Burgess, and explains how he went about writing his masterpiece Lanark and recent Faust adaptation, Fleck.

A STAR IS FINALLY BORN (Chair)

Sat 16 Aug 9:30pm – 10:30pm — Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Faber and Faber is world famous for publishing the giants of poetry. Now, with My Prefect Cousin, Faber offers us the poems of cult poet Paul Hamilton. His cousin, the renowned comedy actor Kevin Eldon, has pieced together Hamilton’s story, the man once described by the Poetic Literary Review as ‘a diabolical libertarian’. Join Eldon as he charts the rollercoaster ride of a life dedicated to verse.

RALLY AND BROAD

Mon 25 Aug 9pm – 11pm — Guardian Spiegeltent

The Edinburgh Cabaret of Words, Music & Lyrical Delights comes to the Book Festival! Details to follow…

Comrade Kim Goes Flying on the Culture Laser

August 4, 2013

itunes picIn this blast of the Culture Laser I talk with Nicholas Bonner, one of the directors of North Korean’s very first romantic comedy Comrade Kim Goes Flying and discuss how he got the film made, the current state of the North Korean film industry, what role government propaganda usually plays and the importance of showing people drinking beer. Recorded at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. We also feature the track Road to Damascus with Golan Haji from the GOL Productions film directed by Roxana Vilk with sound design by Peter Vilk.

Reel Festivals’ Golan Haji

June 12, 2011

Golan Haji on the Podcast

 

One of the highlights of the Reel Festivals trip to Lebanon was getting to work and learn from Golan Haji. Golan, who lives in Syria, is a sensitive translator; a subtle, brave and unique poet. I interviewed him while we were in Beirut as we didn’t know if his visa for the UK would come through in time. At the time of the interview we were both keenly aware of the protests taking place in Syria. With this in mind — I hope you give a listen to this thoughtful voice. You can find more poetry, music, videos and blogs on the Reel Festivals site.

Ryan x

Listen Here:

 

Syrian poet Golan Haji joins Ryan in Beirut as part of the cultural collaboration festival of poetry, film and music Reel Festivals. They take some time out to chat about about poetry, translation, borders and politics.

Presented by Ryan Van Winkle. Incidental music by Ewen Maclean. Produced by Colin Fraser of Anon Poetry Magazine http://www.anonpoetry.co.uk and@anonpoetry.

Email: splpodcast@gmail.com

 

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About Golan Haji

Golan HajiGolan Haji is a Syrian poet, with a postgraduate degree in pathology. He has published a number of books includingCalled in Darkness (2004), which won the ‘Al-Maghut’ prize in poetry, and Someone Sees You as a Monster (2008). His next collection, My Cold Faraway Home, will be published in Autumn 2011.  He has also translated various works into Arabic including the Scottish classic – Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He lives in Damascus.

 

 

And Check Out

Andrew Philip’s blog from our poetry reading at the SPL. I’m grateful he summed up such a powerful reading in such a elegant way.

 

 

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