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Part of: Najwan Darwish Online Tour Poetry and Translation at Sheaf Poetry Festival

Sheaf Poetry Festival

Poetry and Translation at Sheaf Poetry Festival

Sheaf Poetry Festival presents a discussion of translation and witnessing alongside readings from Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, his translators Atef Alshaer and Paul Batchelor, and leading Indian poet Arundhathi Subramaniam, who has published four collections of poetry with Bloodaxe Books. Arundhathi has worked with translation as editor of Poetry International Web and in editing the Penguin anthology Eating God. Readings will be followed by discussion and a Q&A.

Najwan Darwish is a Palestinian poet born in Jerusalem in 1978.  He published his first book of poetry in 2000.  His poetry has been translated into over twenty languages and in 2009 he was named one of the thirty-nine best Arab writers under the age of forty by the Hay Festival Beirut 39 project.  His book Nothing More To Lose was listed as one of NPR’s best books of 2014.  Both as a poet and as a cultural critic he has had an enormous impact on Arabic literature, described by the New York Review of Books as “one of the foremost Arabic-language poets of his generation”.

Atef Alshaer is a Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster. He was educated at Birzeit University in Palestine and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he obtained his PhD and taught for a number of years. He is the author of several publications in the fields of language, literature and politics, including Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World, 2016; The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (with Dina Matar and Lina Khatib), 2014; A Map of Absence: An Anthology of Palestinian Writing on the Nakba, 2019

Paul Batchelor was born in Northumberland.  His pamphlet, To Photograph a Snow Crystal, was published by Smith|Doorstop in 2006, and his first full-length collection of poems, The Sinking Road, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008.  His work has appeared in several anthologies and he has won the Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize.  At Newcastle University, Paul wrote a PhD on the poetry of Barry MacSweeney.  He is a freelance writer and teacher, and regularly reviews for The GuardianThe Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning poet and writer on spirituality and culture.  Winner of the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry in 2015, the Raza Award for Poetry and the International Piero Bigongiari Prize, she mostly lives in Bombay (a city she is perennially on the verge of leaving).  She has published two books of poetry in Britain with Bloodaxe, Where I Live: New & Selected Poems (2009), which combines selections from her first two Indian collections, On Cleaning Bookshelves and Where I Live, with new work, and When God Is a Traveller (2014), a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Prize at the Jaipur Literary Festival, and was awarded the International Piero Bigongiari Prize in Italy.  Her latest collection, Love Without a Story, is due from Bloodaxe in 2020. 

Please note: This event will take place via a YouTube Premiere on the Sheaf Poetry Festival YouTube page. Youtube links will be on their website before the festival begins, so please check back within the next few weeks.