Posts Tagged ‘sasha de buyl’

Where is Claire? AUGUST MADNESS edition

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

The Flint & Pitch Revue #6
Photo by Chris Scott

August is almost upon us, and every Edinburgh resident knows what that means. MADNESS IS ABOUT TO DESCEND. But also gigs. Lots of them.

Listen Softly Edinburgh
Friday 11th August, 6pm - 8pm
Forest Cafe (Tollcross Junction)

Okay, I am really glad this one is the first event I get to put under your eyeballs, because I REALLY want it to go well! I AM MAKING ANOTHER FORAY INTO POETRY PROMOTING, friends, after a long hiatus (I must have forgotten how stressful it is again), and this is the first dipping-of-my-toes-into-the-water. I’m teaming up with the inimitable Dom Stevenson of Listen Softly London, to deliver a one-off LSL-style Edinburgh event for the Fringe. However, if all goes well I’m hoping to turn LSE into a semi-regular thing. So call this a pilot phase, if you will…
There’ll be poems from the brilliant Theresa Munoz, Colin McGuire and Laura Rae — one other feature TBC! You might get the odd poem out of Dom and I, too. AND, there are five open mic slots up for grabs, which YOU could read in if you email claire@onenightstanzas.com and ask me to put your name in the hat!
The Facebook event is here — please come along, bring friends, help me fill the Forest and convince me that becoming a promoter again is in fact a good idea…

She Grrrowls
Monday 14th August, 7.20pm
Black Market (venue 399)

“London’s favourite feminist arts night”, says the Facebook event, “bringing you a night of the best women in spoken word, mixed in with some music and comedy. There are new features every night and you can give us your best growl with the all-inclusive open mic!” I’ll be one of three feature readers at this — the others are Katie Pritchard and Beth Hunt. I’m also hoping to be sharing the stage with some pals as part of the open mic! Come along!

Political Poetry with Andy Jackson and WN Herbert
Tuesday 15th August, 12.30pm
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Bosco Theatre (George Street)

Andy and Bill are the brains behind some of the best anthologies of Scottish literature to happen lately: most recently, they edited New Boots and Pantisocracies, which started out as a daily blog and then became a fantastic book. I’m honoured to have been picked from among the contributors to read my contribution at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This one’s ticketed but well worth the ticket price! And perfect for your midweek lunchtime…

Edinburgh, City of Poetry with Russell Jones and Claire Askew
Thursday 17th August, 12.30pm
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Bosco Theatre (George Street)

So, yaknow I helped the lovely Russell Jones to edit that wee book of Edinburgh poems and stories, Umbrellas of Edinburgh, recently? Well we’ve only gone and bagged ourselves a Book Festival event! Come along and hear Russell and I introduce work by the geniuses that are Harry Giles, Jane Yolen, Finola Scott and Marjorie Lotfi Gill. There’ll also be poems by Russell and I that have been specially commissioned for the event! This one’s also ticketed but you get six — SIX — writers for the price of one event!

Reshuffling The Pack with MacGillivray and Courtney Sina Meredith
Sunday 20th August, 5pm
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Writers’ Retreat (Charlotte Square)

I’m chairing this one, but I’m counting it as a gig because I am super excited and also SUPER NERVOUS about doing it! These two poets are very different, but both of them make mind-blowing work that is complex, experimental, political and brilliant. This one is well worth every one of the shiny pounds of its ticket price… come and ask smart questions in the Q&A, and I shall field them!

She Grrrowls
Monday 21st August, 7.20pm
Black Market (venue 399)

My second go at this fine feminist night… again, I will be one of three features! The other two are Katie Pritchard and Kathryn O’Driscoll. There’s also that open mic, if you fancy coming and sharing a stage with yours truly!

That’s What She Said
Tuesday 22nd August, 5.45pm
Bar Bados, Cowgate (venue 281)

I am really excited to be reading as a feature at this bloody amazing women’s spoken word night, run by none other than fellow #GrrrlCon organiser and all-round magical goddess Jane Bradley! I get to appear alongside Rosie Freakin’ Garland!!! And also my lovely lovely pal Sasha de Buyl — trust me, you do NOT want to miss a very rare appearance by Sasha! That’s What She Said is doing a whole run, and every single night looks absolutely golden. It’s at a great time of day as well… come along before you head to your evening shows!

Coffee and a Poem with Paul Muldoon
Thursday 24th August, 10am
Golden Hare Books, Stockbridge

YES, I AM CHAIRING AN EVENT WITH PAUL MULDOON. YES, THAT PAUL MULDOON. Obviously come along to this one because it’s PAUL FREAKING MULDOON. But also, come along and make supportive faces at me so I can at least attempt to form sentences in the presence of this man? The event is, after all, free — and you get coffee!

Please come along to these events, friends! But mainly come to this one. Seriously.

In conversation with Sepideh Jodeyri

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Sepideh Jodeyri
Photo taken by Mehran Haddadi, used with permission from Sepideh Jodeyri.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very lucky to be invited to meet the Iranian poet Sepideh Jodeyri. You can read more about her remarkable life and work below, but the short version is, she’s an Iranian poet who’s been forced into exile in Europe. In order to keep writing poetry and literary criticism freely, and without censorship, she had to move to Italy, and then to Prague. Scottish PEN were able to invite her to Scotland for a brief visit at the end of October, to talk about her life in writing, and to perform at a few events, including Shore Poets October.

Sepideh Jodeyri at Shore Poets October (9)Sepideh Jodeyri at Shore Poets October (9)
Sepideh at Shore Poets.

As part of her visit, Sepideh kindly agreed to record a podcast with Scottish PEN, in which she talked about the tradition of reading and writing poetry in Iran, about her own experiences as a poet, contest judge and literary critic, and about some of the problems faced by writers living in exile. I feel privileged to have been invited to be part of this podcast, too — I spoke about the ways in which living in Scotland is a privilege for writers; but also about the ways in which we can still extend freedom of expression to include better opportunities for minority writers, especially transgender writers.

You can listen to the podcast, which was ably chaired by the brilliant Sasha de Buyl, here.

In the podcast, Sepideh mentions that very few of her poems are currently published in English. I offered to rectify this by featuring a translation of one of her pieces right here on ONS. Here’s the piece she sent me. At the bottom is a bit of biographical info, to provide just a snapshot of Sepideh’s amazing writing life so far. Enjoy… and if you want to support the work of Scottish PEN, you can start by following their Twitter, or you can become a member at their site.

*

Fire, take a step…
A poem by Sepideh Jodeyri
Translated by Sholeh Wolpe

Saturday:
The newspapers will read:
That day

you will put your letters

in front of a gun

and then,

fire; take a step.

*

Sunday:
It’s hot,

the sun

shoves us away

and we know by heart

the farthest color in the rainbow.

Fire; then a step. 

*

Wednesday:
(The newspapers will read:)
It’s hot, 

and God

shoves us away.

It’s as if your letters 

see double;

as if

fourteen colors?!

*

Saturday:
It’s hot, 

the letters 

shove us away.
Fire; then a step
towards the war!

*

Sepideh Jodeyri is an Iranian poet, literary critic, translator and journalist. She has published numerous books in Iran, including five poetry collections, a collection of short stories and an anthology of poems. Her articles and interviews have been published in Iranian newspapers and magazines as well as European ones. She has also translated poetry books by Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges as well as the graphic novel, Blue is the warmest color by Julie Maroh into Persian.

In 2008, Sepideh founded the Khorshid Prize, a feminist literary prize for Iranian women writers. The award included prize money equivalent to around 1,050 euros. The Khorshid Prize ran for four years until it was declared banned after Jodeyri left the country in 2011. The chairwoman who took over the prize, and one of their sponsors, were subsequently interrogated by Iran’s intelligence service agents.

In the aftermath of the highly contested 2009 presidential election in Iran, which resulted in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2009-2013), Sepideh spoke publicly in support of the Iranian pro-democracy movement (known as Iranian Green Movement). Shortly after, her works were banned in Iran, and some of her close friends put in prison, forcing her to leave the country and move to Italy in February 2011. She stayed for two years in Italy as the guest writer of ICORN. Sepideh, her husband and her son currently live in Prague, Czech Republic.

Sepideh Jodeyri at Shore Poets October (9)
Sepideh at Shore Poets.

My involvement in this podcast was made possible by Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, who have allocated a small grant to allow me to develop my work during the period January 2015 to February 2016. Thank you, Creative Scotland!