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Five Afghan Poems

Featuring: Reza Mohammadi, Nick Laird, Hamid Kabir, Sarah Maguire, Partaw Naderi, Shakila Azizzada, Mimi Khalvati, Narguess Farzad

The Dual Poetry Podcast is taking a look at Afghan poetry, with five poems from the PTC archive. We made this recording in September 2021, weeks after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Western forces. There is worldwide concern for poets, scholars and intellectuals still in the country, many of whom have publicly supported universal human rights and been openly critical of the Taliban.

The world recognises the importance of classical poets who hailed from this part of the world, towering figures like Rumi, and now there are important contemporary poets there that needs further recognition, support and shelter. Towards the end of the podcast, we will be talking about what you can do to help.

All of these poems are in Dari, the regional variation of Persian that has developed in that part of the world. However, there are two official languages in Afghanistan, the second being Pashtu, spoken by ethnic Pashtuns in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sadly, we do not have any audio recordings of Pashtu poems to play to you but you can find translated Pashtu poetry of the PTC website.

As ever we would like to thank Arts Council England and our donors for their continued support. Thank you for listening, please tell your brilliant poetry loving friends and inspirational relatives about the Dual Poetry Podcast and repost, rate and review.