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!

Reel Iraq 2013 Is Coming to Scotland

February 25, 2013

Really exciting news! The good people at Reel Festivals have announced their full programme of events for Reel Iraq 2013, which runs from 21-25 March all across the UK, including dates for the calendars of the citizens of London, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. There’s a huge amount going on, with short film showings, music, poetry and writing workshops, really worth making a note of and coming along to support some of the best artists Iraq has to share with us.

We’re hitting the road in a massive poetic convoy with our Found in Translation team, featuring Ghareeb IskanderSabreen KadhimZahir Mousa, and Awezan Nouri, our friends John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, William Letford, and Krystelle Bamford, plus so many massively talented UK-based poets joining us along the way, including George Szirtes, Tom Pow, Vicki Feaver, Miriam Gamble and Joe Dunthorne, to name a scant few. It’s going to be one week-long celebration of poems and the humans who write them, we’ll be exhausted and euphoric and we invite you to do likewise.

PLUS if you can make it up to Raploch Community Campus on Monday 25th, we’re throwing an intensely unique Golden Hour to bring this year’s Reel Iraq to a close, featuring all the aforementioned Iraqi and Scottish poets, short films, and music from Billy Liar, Hailey Beavis and others. You will pause, ponder, clap and sing along.

Can’t wait to get all this underway, can’t wait to see you there, and to put you in the mood, here’s Reel Festival’s very own theatrical trailer.

Ryan is a Guest at the Reel Festivals Blog

February 4, 2013

The Streets of Erbil

In the past few weeks I’ve had the huge privilege of going out to Iraq with the excellent people at the Erbil Literature Festival and Reel Festivals. While in Erbil and Shaqlawa in the Kurdish region of Iraq we played and worked with 8 Scottish and Iraqi poets – whose work you’ll see here in the UK in March – but in the meantime here are a few blog posts to whet your appetite and to give you an idea of what Reel Festivals is all about. Click on the headline for the full feature! 

Smile, You’re in Erbil!

In less than a day our troupe of Scottish and Iraqi poets will converge here in Erbil before bussing over to Shaqlawa in the foothills of the Safeen mountains. There, not unlike everywhere in Western Europe, there will be snow.

On the journey here, the snow was our enemy but soon, I hope, it will be our friend. Weather conditions meant Dan Gorman and I were waylaid in Vienna. While kicking around the airport Dan met a couple of stranded Iraqis on their way home to Oslo. When they heard where we were headed one exclaimed, “Shaqlawa makes me insane!” This has become our motto.

In Which We Glimpse World Peace

I first met Lukman Derky in Damascus in November, 2010. At the time he was running a spoken word event so rare, courageous, and new that it was covered in The New York Times before Syria began meriting headlines for the worst reasons. A cultural cowboy, Derky’s Bayt al-Qasid (House of Poetry) was doing something many of us take for granted – bringing people together to perform and play. In that dimly lit basement bar where secret police likely hid in plain sight – people spoke freely.

Poets in the Game Zone

A chance encounter of an evening stroll in Shaqlawa, Iraq found the Reel Iraq cohort make a surprisingly fluid transition from poet to sportsmaster.