Exiled Lit Cafe – Hostile Environment
Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX (Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square)
Hostile Environment – in words and music with amazing writers: Inua Ellams – Amir Darwish – Zita Holbourne – Shamim Azad with translator Selim Jahan – visiting poet Salah Faik. Guitarist/Singer Sheik Rana
Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and has published four books of poetry: ‘Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars’, ‘Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales’ ‘The Wire-Headed Heathen’ and ‘#Afterhours’. His first play ‘The 14th Tale’ was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his fourth ‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ sold out its run at England’s National Theatre. He is currently touring ‘An Evening With An Immigrant’ and working on ‘The Half God of Rainfall’ – a new play in verse.
Amir Darwish is a British Syrian published poet and writer of Kurdish origin who lives in London. He will read from his forthcoming collection Dear Refugee to be published in 2019 (Smokestack). His previous work is Don’t Forget the Couscous (Smokestack 2015) and From Aleppo Without Love (2017).
Zita Holbourne is a spoken word and performance poet, visual artist, curator and activist who is an award winning trade union, community and human rights campaigner and activist. She has performed at a diverse range of events and has also performed regularly on radio and television and been published in a range of anthologies. She is the author of Striving for Equality, Freedom and Justice (Hansib Publications).
Salah Faik is a prolifically published poet who was born in 1945 in Kirkuk, Iraq. He began publishing his poetry in 1964 and in 1975 published his first collection Raha’in (Hostages) in Damascus, Syria. Following this came seven other poetry collections. While he was living in London in the 1970s and 1980s he published two collections in English, Another Fire Befitting a City (1979) and The Lode, the Word (1985). Shamim Azad is a bilingual author and one of the best known Bengali poets and storytellers in the UK. Her new book Ancestral Embryo is translated by Selim Jahan from her autobiographical novel “Bongshobeej’. She has published more than 30 books including novels, short stories and collections of poetry in English and Bengali.
Selim Jahan is an author and economist. He translates from Bangla to English and vice versa. His publications include Freedom as Development, Deprivations and Development, Overcoming Human Poverty, The Political Economy of Bangladesh. Sharshetee Shadesher Mukh, Phire Phire Dekha, and Bela-Obelar Kotha.
Sheik Rana is a writer, songwriter and poet. His first book of lyrics was ‘Az tomar mon kharap meye’ (2011). He recently published a travelogue and a journal of day-to-day urban life and his band ‘Nostalgic’ launched the self-titled debut album (2014).
Open Mic and participation
Host: Shamim Azad: Writer
£5 entry/£3 EWI 2018 members and asylum seekers.
If payment is a problem for asylum seekers, no problem: contact in confidence