This event, organised by Letters With Wings, was dedicated to the women artists Chimengul Awut (award-winning Uyghur poet) and Nûdem Durak (a folk-musician of Kurdish origin who is a political prisoner in Turkey).
Participants included: Lia Mills (Chair of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann), Catherine Dunne, Celia de Fréine, Kate Ennals, Moyra Donaldson, Evgeny Shtorn, Gianluca Costantini (activist, cartoonist and visual artist), Antje Stehn (Rucksack, A Global Poetry Patchwork), Simone Theiss (Westminster and Bayswater Amnesty International Group) and Letters with wings’ poet members Nandi Jola, Csilla Toldy and Viviana Fiorentino. It was a powerful, inspirational evening and a great privilege to be involved at all.
My contribution was quasi-introductory and was followed by a long line of brilliant insights, ideas and reflections from the other contributors. Look them up and follow them.
There is an account of what I said and read on the Irish PEN/PEN nahÉireann website
(With thanks to the Imagine! Belfast Festival & its production staff: Richard, Emma, Gillian)
Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann: www.irishpen.com (Website under revision, please be patient. Current campaigns are listed under “News”)
PEN International: https://pen-international.org/
Free the Poet (Ilhan Sami Çomak) https://ilhancomak.com/
Ahmet Altan I Will Never See the World Again (Granta, 2019)
Eva Gore Booth poem: “Comrades” from Broken Glory. Maunsel, 1918.