Reading | 16 Sep 17

Poetry on the Nile: Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

Reading | 16 Sep 17

Poetry on the Nile: Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

Join Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, Emily Hasler and Atef Alshaer for an afternoon of poetry in Arabic and English from the countries of the Near East that inspired Agatha Christie.

Sudanese poet Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi will give a reading of his own work, including ‘Poem of the Nile’, probably his best known poem in the UK. Now a part of the permanent collection at London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptology, it is a seminal portrait of the mighty river, into which are gathered the tumultuous histories of the region along with the cargo of personal experience.

This event will also include a presentation of the fresh English versions of poems from Egypt, Syria and Iraq that have been collaboratively translated during the festival. Arabic translator Atef Alshaer and award-winning UK poet Emily Hasler will read the original poems and the English translations, and discuss the highlights of the translation process.

Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi is one of the leading African poets working in Arabic today. He is the author of four volumes of poetry in Arabic starting with Songs of Solitude in 1996. He was a poet in residence at London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in 2012; his 2015 collection He Tells Tales of Meroe emerged from his time there, and went on to be shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. A Monkey at the Window, his latest collection, was published in 2016 as a bilingual publication (Arabic and English) by the Poetry Translation Centre and Bloodaxe Books.

Emily Hasler lives on the Essex-side of the Stour. She has been published widely in magazines and anthologies, including Poetry London, Rialto, Magma, The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Dear World and Everyone In It. A pamphlet, Natural Histories (Salt), was published in 2011 and she is working on a full collection. In 2013 she was a Hawthornden Fellow and in 2014 she received an Eric Gregory Award. She owns an elderly but sharp rescue cat called Marple.

Atef Alshaer is a Lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster. He first came to London after completing his Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Birzeit in Palestine. Alshaer has written several books including Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World and an edited volume, Love and Poetry in the Middle East. He also writes and translates poetry. His latest translations include poems by the Sudanese poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi.

The Poetry Translation Centre was founded in 2004 by poet Sarah Maguire to give the best poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language; to better understand and celebrate the diverse communities who have made their home in the UK; and to enrich the English poetic tradition through translation. The PTC is a charity supported by Arts Council England.

www.poetrytranslation.org