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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.

Book Launch of ‘This Room is Waiting’ at Word Power Books

June 25, 2014

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.

This Room is Waiting is Published by Freight

May 19, 2014

Delighted to report that This Room is Waiting, a collection of the poems written during the Reel Iraq Festival by UK poets Jen Hadfield, Billy Letford, Krystelle Bamford and John Glenday, by Iraqi poets Zahir Mousa, Sabreen Kadhim, Ghareeb Iskander and Awezan Nouri, and edited by myself and Lauren Pyott, has been published by Freight Books. 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.

Structo Magazine has also given us our first review: ‘The poets’ culture and experience shines through the poems, but there’s also a sense of connection based on the shared experience of writing and translating together.’

Reel Iraq: Golden Hour at the EIBF

August 2, 2013

On Monday 19 August the Reel Iraq team of Scottish and Iraqi poets and artists are part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Unbound series. We’re showing off some of the best work from both countries, plus some of our collaborations and translations. It’s going to be a really special night, hope to see you there.

Reel Iraq: The Golden Hour

Monday 19 August, 9-11pm (FREE)

Revel in a special evening of contemporary Iraqi culture, to mark ten years since the invasion of Iraq, with poetry, theatre and music. Featuring acclaimed Iraqi poets Sabreen Kadhim (coming direct from Baghdad) and Ghareeb Iskander, accompanied by new translations from renowned Scotland-based poets Krystelle Bamford, John Glenday, Jen Hadfield and William Letford; compelling theatre from Dina Moussawi and Iraqi Choobi dance music. This event is supported in part by Creative Scotland and LIFT Festival.

What: Reel Iraq: The Golden Hour

Where: The Guardian Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

When: Monday 19 August, 9-11pm

How Much: FREE.

 

Reel Iraq on the SPL Podcast

July 31, 2013

In January this year Reel Festivals organised a series of events and translation workshops in Erbil, Iraq with Scottish and Iraqi poets. The whole team then came back to Scotland in March, going on an huge journey in a tiny vehicle, presenting our work to the nation. In this edition of the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast all of the participants talk about their experiences and read their work. Featuring John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, Ghareeb Iskander, William Letford, Krystelle Bamford, Awezan Nouri, Sabreen Kadhim and Zaher Mousa, with support from Dina Mousawi and Lauren Pyott.

Golden Hour Teams Up With Reel Festivals in Stirling

March 11, 2013

Stirling: The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour has packed houses throughout the world — from the Edinburgh International Book Festival all the way to Melbourne with stops in Berlin, Paris, Beirut and Montreal. This time, we have the distinct pleasure of bringing our closing party for Reel Iraq to Stirling’s Raploch Community Campus, featuring renowned Iraqi and Scottish poets, short films, and music from Billy Liar & Hailey Beavis.

We have Iraqi poetry from Ghareeb Iskander, Sabreen Kadhim, Zahir Mousa, Awezan Nouri and new translations from John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, William Letford and Krystelle Bamford. We did some great work with these guys during our stay in Iraq, and we’re really proud to host them in Scotland. It’s a free show, so if you’re in Stirling on Monday 25 March, come join us for some amazing and unique poetry performances.

What: Reel Iraq Closing Party

Where: Raploch Community Campus, Drip Rd, Stirling, FK8 1RD

When: Monday 25 March, 7pm

How Much: FREE!

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