Earlier this month I had the privilege of meeting Hamja Ahsan and the writer Mike Marqusee at the IHRC bookshop in London. Hamja's campaign to have his brother Talha released and more recently, following his extradition, returned to England, has been running for over seven years. You can see the streamed talk and discussion here, as well as hear Mike and I reading Talha's and our own work.
Talha's poetry is eloquent and beautiful. It astonishes me that someone who is in solitary confinement is able to find inspiration to write. He has an engaging curiosity about the world - the things that make us human and vulnerable and even amusing sometimes.
Looking ahead, Poets Without Borders is available for booking again (you can contact me via this blog).
This is an event not to be missed.
Our work will take you from Tanzania and Bangladesh to Egypt and Beirut, from Palestine, New York and Ireland to Spain, Germany, Poland and Russia...
You are the only passport you will need!
Susanne Ehrhardt grew up in Germany. She is a retired doctor who worked in Bangladesh and with the Oxfam health team. She has published poems in various journals. Her excellent debut collection Rumpelstiltskin's Price is published by Templar Poetry.
Norbert Hirschhorn is a physician specializing in international public health. He was commended in 1993 by Bill Clinton as an 'American Health Hero'. He now lives in London and Beirut.Widely published in journals, his collections include A Cracked River (Slow Dancer Press), Mourning in the Presence of a Corpse and Monastery of the Moon (Dar al-Jadeed) and To Sing Away the Darkest Days (Holland Park Press). For more information see www.bertzpoet.com
Pat Winslow left the theatre in 1987 to take up writing. She's had seven poetry collections published, most recently Dreaming of Walls Repeating Themselves, Unpredictable Geometry and Kissing Bones, all published by Templar Poetry. Pat has won a number of prizes and was working as a writer in residence in a prison until the Arts Council cuts. As well as being involved in community arts projects, she is a children's storyteller and a celebrant for the British Humanist Association. More information can be found here: www.patwinslow.com
So, there you have it. Lots of poetry and lots of things to think and learn about.