Monday, November 05, 2007

Endangered Speeches

Inverness highlights Iraqi writers in an evening of words and music

‘Endangered Speeches’, an evening of readings and music at Hootenanny’s, unites Inverness with cities all over the world that are marking ‘Day of the Imprisoned Writer’. On Sunday 11th November at 7.30pm a line up of writers representing both the Highlands, and writers in exile from their home countries, will read to highlight the current dangers to writers and freedom of expression in Iraq, and to celebrate its rich writing. Wafaa Razzaq, a well-known Iraqi poet and novelist now living in London will be a special guest. A book of her poetry that calls for world peace is currently under production as a film.

Other writers who will be reading from their own work and from selected Iraqi writings will be Roger Hutchinson – journalist and non-fiction writer (Calum’s Road), Cynthia Rogerson, novelist (Love Letters from my Death Bed), Iyad Hayatleh, a Palestinian poet based in Glasgow, and Mandy Haggith, novelist and poet (Castings). All are pictured right to left above with Jenni Calder, President of Scottish PEN. Hamish MacDonald will compere and Marc Clement of Blazing Fiddles and Nuala Kennedy will delight the audience with musical interludes.

Scottish PEN and the Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre at Kiltarlity have joined forces to organise this event, focusing on the plight of writers caught up in the humanitarian crisis in which an estimated four million Iraqis are now displaced. Writers, translators and interpreters are particularly under threat for their writings and for alleged collaboration with coalition forces. PEN is calling on all governments to support Syria and Jordan’s measures to assist, and also to re-examine their own resettlement policies for Iraqi refugees.

‘Endangered Speeches’ tickets £4, available in advance from 01463 741675 or on the door. Hootenannay’s, 67 Church Street, Inverness.

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